Texting, Talking, Trouble: Police to Aggressively Enforce Distracted Driving in April

As part of distracted driving month, which starts today, police across Southern California will be ticketing for texting drivers, those holding a cellphone to their head, or drivers whose attention wanders for any reason.

Dozens of police agencies have planned targeted operations for April 3 - 16, which has been designated a maximum enforcement period. Wednesday will be zero-tolerance day, when officers will give tickets only -- no warnings.

Fines start around $160. A second offense can cost about $280.

In Pasadena, Friday will be maximum enforcement day, according to Lt. Pete Hettema said.

Tomorrow at 8 a.m., California Highway Patrol officers and Burbank city officials will be at John Burroughs High School to impress upon students the importance of paying attention while driving.

In April 2012 alone, about 57,000 people statewide got tickets for driving while distracted, and about 450,000 people were ticketed during the entire year.

In 2011, about 3,300 people died nationwide in accidents involving at least one distracted driver, according to federal highway safety officials.

According to studies cited by law enforcement, young, inexperienced drivers are most susceptible to having an accident because of distracted driving. Drivers using any kind of handheld electronic device are about four time more likely to have a wreck than drivers who are not using them.

Watch these earlier special reports from "SoCal Connected"
- Texting While Driving
- Distracted Driving

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City News Service is an independent wire service that serves Los Angeles area news outlets. Posts identifying them in a byline means KCET-TV has used their story, either in full or close to full.
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Pro tip: *sexting* while driving is still technically legal. If you get pulled over, quickly have whoever you're texting with send you a picture of their genitals. The cops will have to let you go.

Pretty sure it's in the Constitution.