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142 Drivers Cited in April for Violating Hands-Free Cell Phone Law

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, the Goleta Police Department issued 142 citations during the month of April to drivers who violated the state’s hands-free cell phone law.

“Next to speeding, this is probably one of the most violated laws on our roads, despite repeated efforts to warn drivers about the hands-free cell phone law. Many drivers continue to use their phones while operating a vehicle.” Sergeant Noel Rivas said. “Our ultimate goal is to change behaviors that help make our roads safer for everyone.”

California has had distracted driving laws on the books since 2008. Under current law, drivers are not allowed to hold their phone or other electronic device while driving. This includes talking, texting, using an app or even if stopped at a red light.

Using a handheld cell phone while driving is punishable by a fine. Violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.

If you have an important phone call or need to program directions, pull over to a safe parking spot. Before driving, either silence your phone or put it somewhere you can’t reach.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office provides police services for the City of Goleta.

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