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CHP on the lookout for distracted drivers during Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 05, 2022

The month of April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Distracted driving is defined as any time drivers take their eyes off of the road and that includes looking at or using a phone.

Officers say it's basically like driving blind.

According to the California Highway Patrol, looking down at a cell phone can take a driver's eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. For drivers going 55 miles per hour, that's the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking.

CHP says they plan on actively enforcing penalties for those driving distracted.

"It can be as simple as trying to do your makeup or eating your hamburger or something like that while you are driving,” said CHP Public Information Officer Miguel Alvarez. “I have seen people reading a book or studying for an exam while they're driving on the freeway, anything that can constitute driving distracted. At a minimum, we will make an enforcement contact just to educate the public.”

In 2021, CHP officers issued more than 55,000 citations for distracted driving.

Also in 2021, according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 13,000 crashes took place as a result of distracted driving leading to 56 fatal crashes.

Officers plan on paying particularly close attention to distracted driving on April 7 and 20.