SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Distracted drivers are at the center of a new law enforcement crackdown on texting and talking on the phone while driving.
Nationally, nearly half a million drivers have been busted for cell phone convictions over the past couple years.
“You know how many times I have been almost hit, run over by someone too busy texting? In our last car accident the lady was texting when she hit us,” said driver Miles McFann.
The Sacramento Police Department has teamed up with the California Office of Traffic Safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the California Highway Patrol, and 36 other law enforcement agencies across the greater Sacramento region to make a stop to accidents like McFann’s.
“It’s just not worth it because of tickets and crashes and stuff,” said another driver.
Starting Monday and going through March 10, the agencies will be looking for those distracted drivers texting or talking on their cells while driving.
Statistics from 2010 show 3,000 people were killed and an additional 400,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers.
“Texting takes a lot more of your focus and concentration than talking,” said one driver.
Law enforcement agencies suggest turning off your phone, putting it out of reach and avoiding calling and texting those you know are behind the wheel at the time.
“I go completely headset, Bluetooth, and don’t text when I’m driving,” said McFann.
Distracted drivers will face a minimum $159 fine for first offenses and a second offense will jump up to $279.