In support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement campaign, the Burbank Police Department reminds drivers to put down their phones when driving.
In the smartphone age, people are more connected than ever before, but also trying to stay connected when they shouldn’t: behind the wheel. Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or hands off the steering wheel – especially when texting or using your phone. The Burbank Police Department would like to remind the community that one text or call could wreck it all.
Using your cell phone while driving is not only dangerous but also illegal. In California, you cannot use a cell phone or similar electronic communication device while holding it in your hand. You can only use it in a hands-free manner, such as speakerphone or voice commands, but never while holding it. Any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using a cell phone for any reason. Engaging in distracting behaviors with a phone like dialing, talking, or texting increases the risk of being involved in a collision by three times. The California Office of Traffic Safety emphasizes that all functions of a phone can be distracting while driving. The safest thing drivers can do is put down the phone and Just Drive!
Beginning today, and extending throughout the month of April, the Burbank Police will have additional officers on patrol specifically looking for drivers who violate the state’s hands-free cell phone law. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you receive a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.”
Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Other serious driver distractions such as eating, grooming, reading, reaching for objects on the floor, changing clothes or talking with passengers are just as dangerous and can result in a “reckless driving” or “speed unsafe for conditions” ticket.