The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), California Highway Patrol
(CHP) and more than 200 law enforcement agencies statewide are working
together to promote National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April
and California Teen Safe Driving Week, which is the first week of April.
Throughout April, CHP will focus on public education about the dangers
of driving distracted including visits to schools and traffic safety presentations.
In addition, April 1 and April 15 will be special high visibility enforcement days.
The urge to read and answer an incoming text message can be almost overwhelming.
OTS is encouraging drivers to “Silence the Distraction” in
new public service announcements aimed at getting drivers to turn off
their phones while driving so they won’t be tempted. “Driving
takes one’s full attention and any distraction can have deadly,
dangerous consequences,” says Chief Phillip L. Sanchez, of the Pasadena
Police Department. “Imagine driving for four or five seconds while
blindfolded. That can be the effect of looking down to send a text message.
In the average time it takes to check a text message – less than
5 seconds – a car travelling 60 mph will travel more than the length
of a football field.” “No text, call, or social media update
is worth a crash,” says OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “With an
average of less than a second to react to an urgent situation, drivers
need to have all their attention on the roadway.”
Distraction can take on many forms, not just texting, and can affects
all road users, but young drivers are at a higher risk. People are finally
starting to realize that everyday behaviors, such as texting or reaching
for a dropped item, can be lethal when done behind the wheel.