Lake Elsinore Police Plan 4 'High Visibility' Texting-and-Driving Enforcement Operations

The department says that if you're caught texting and driving around town, it's going to cost you.

The following is a news release from the Lake Elsinore Police Department: 

As part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Lake Elsinore Police Department will be joining forces with over 200 other local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol in a month long “zero tolerance” enforcement and education campaign to curb those texting or operating handheld cell phones while driving. 

Officers will be on alert throughout the month of April for those who break the cell phone laws and place themselves and others in danger.  

Special high visibility enforcement operations to cite cell phone violators will take place on April 3, 8, 17 and 22, 2014.

The increased enforcement and education aims to persuade drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this perilous behavior.  The “It’s Not Worth It!” theme emphasizes that a phone call or text isn’t worth a hefty fine or a collision. 

The current minimum ticket cost is $161, with subsequent tickets costing at least $281.

“We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously,” said Lake Elsinore Chief of Police Leonard Hollingsworth “because we see the aftermath of these totally preventable crashes. Is that text message or cell phone call really worth $161, or worse, someone’s life?”

Drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.  In addition, studies show that texting while driving can delay a driver’s reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver. According to research, sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.  Even a three-second glance at freeway speeds means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field.

Research shows that there is no difference in the risks between hands-free and handheld cell phone conversations, both of which can result in “inattention blindness” which occurs when the brain isn’t seeing what is clearly visible because the drivers’ focus is on the phone conversation and not on the road.  When over one third of your brain’s functioning that should be on your driving moves over to cell phone talking, you can become a cell phone “zombie.”

Alek J Hidell April 04, 2014 at 11:52 PM
I saw 6 dusty, obviously used cars with paper plates and no window stickers in the 10 minutes it took to shop at Stater Bros today. To think that the cops will actually be"keeping a sharp eye out" for cellphone gabbers is laughable. Well, it won't be funny if they crash into you and drive away. Will it? God I wish our cops had just an ounce of intelligence!
Sew Good April 05, 2014 at 01:39 AM
Po'd I see what you are saying but the cops do stops when they see a phone in use. My brother has been stopped twice in one year just because he was caught using his phone. The double-lookout idea is for public education. The problem with cops not doing their job around here is that they are spread so thin. Hidell wants to live in a police state where no one can have paper plates. If we had more cops perhaps his dream would come true.
FireCracker April 10, 2014 at 06:17 PM
I hope this applies to officers as well! I was driving down Grand Ave. Last week at just after 6pm, and a cop driving the opposite direction veered into my lane, so I moved as far to the right as I could so as to not kill the 3 of us ( my child was in my car), THE COP WAS FREAKING TEXTING! Wearing a badge DOES NOT make texting and driving any less dangerous.
turnitaround April 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM
I'm against texting but I'm more against all the tweakers in this town. Why doesn't LE crack down on that? It's all always working around the elephant in the room. But really, don't text and drive. LE, PLEASE understand nothing you do will cover up the fact that the tweakers are running this show.


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