The Orange County Sheriff's Department and the police forces of Tustin, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Santa Ana are among California law enforcement agencies targeting drivers who are texting or using their cell phones today. The special Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign continues this coming Tuesday as well as April 17 and April 22.
As part of the campaign, each previously cited department emailed the Weekly with messages that contain the exact same quote from a top department official, usually a police chief, so imagine your town's figurehead saying the following: "We take the issue of distracted driving very seriously because we see the aftermath of these totally preventable crashes. Is that text message or cell phone call really worth $161, or worse, someone's life?"
Yep, the current minimum ticket cost is $161, and the departments say they will be writing drivers up "without warning" during the campaign. Subsequent tickets cost at least $281, which combined with the risk of crashing due to distracted driving explains the theme, "It's Not Worth It!"
Last April, more than 57,000 tickets were written statewide for texting and hand-held cell use, according to campaign organizers, who note there were nearly 450,000 convictions in 2012.