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Drivers using cell phones being targeted by CHP

August 10, 2010 5:31:04 PM PDT
The law in California states that only hands-free cell phone calls are permitted behind the wheel, but people break this law all the time.

The Highway Patrol and local police were looking hard for those people on Tuesday, a so-called "Zero Tolerance Day." ABC7's Don Sanchez went on a ride-along with the CHP and it did not take long to find some using his cell phone and driving.

"When you're talking on the phone, obviously, you are not paying attention to your driving," says CHP officer Shawn Chase. "You see people do erratic things, driving slow, switching lanes."

Even worse, people get in accidents. It is all about inattention. A state report from 2008 on collisions cites that cell phones as the number one reason people are not paying attention.

"It's supposed to be hands-free, so anytime you touch that phone, that's not hands free," Chase says.

There are few exceptions to the rule, like using the phone in an emergency situation. Breaking the law is an expensive proposition. The fine is around $150 depending on the county where the violation occurs.

Last year, in one day, the CHP wrote 500 cell phone violation tickets. Another zero-tolerance day crackdown on cell phone drivers is scheduled for August 18.


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