The California Highway Patrol is announcing a 24 hour “Zero Tolerance” enforcement campaign aimed at citing drivers who are distracted by their cell phones. The enforcement will take place from December 30th at 6 am until December 31st at 6am. Officer David Montijo says the campaign is designed to deter people from using their cell phones if they don’t have a hands-free device or who are texting while driving. Cell phone violations carry a minimum base fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for a second offence, which officer Montijo says is deceiving.
“It’s deceiving the hear, ‘Oh, it’s just a $20 fine.’ But that’s just a base fine. By the time you add up all the other court fines, parking fee, security fee, DNA fee, all these other fines that are added by the courts, you’re talking well over $150 just for the first offense and then much greater for the second offense.”
Since the laws inception in July 2008 through October of this year, CHP officers have issued 518-thousand- 161 citations statewide to motorists who were in violation of the hands-free law, and 11-thousand 634 citations statewide for texting while driving. The CHP says cell phones are one of the leading, identifiable, contributing factors in inattentive traffic collisions in California.