Peninsula police looking for distracted drivers

Friday, January 30, 2015
Distracted driver tickets
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Police are cracking down and ticketing distracted drivers on the Peninsula.

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- Distracted drivers beware. Police on the Peninsula are citing drivers who are paying attention to their devices rather than the roads.

The commute creeps along at a snail's pace at times here in the Bay Area. So why not use that time to update your status on your smartphone? Because that is not hands-free.

Officers from Burlingame and San Bruno police departments and the San Mateo Sheriff's Office got some money from the state to crack down on distracted drivers.

Officers are looking for people texting or just talking on the phone.

"He's got a black cellphone in his right hand looking down at the screen. We pulled him over for talking on his cell phone there," said an officer.

Most drivers have an excuse for why they were on their phone. Some say they were on their iPod, others say they were using GPS.

Distracted driving can have fatal consequences. The latest statistics from 2012 shows 3,328 people were killed that year in crashes involving a distracted driver.

Officers want you to put that phone away. It's pretty simple, if the phone is in your hand, it's most likely going to lead to a ticket.

"It's not hands free if the phone is in his hand. If it was on his knee or on his lap or something like that he would have been fine, but the violation is the phone in the hand, being distracted because you're trying to multi-task," said Corporal Brett Murphy with Burlingame police.

For first time offenders, the ticket will cost you about $130 and the price just goes up from there if you're caught again.