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Texting and driving is on the rise throughout California

Although it's illegal for motorists to handle their phones either for the purpose of texting, talking or to use the internet while driving in California, few actually obey that law. Everyday across this nation, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that at least 1,000 people are injured in distracted-driving crashes. An estimated nine people lose their lives every day as a result of them.

With so many distracted driving-related accidents that occur nationwide on a daily basis, you'd probably expect there to be a significant amount of citations issued for violations of California's hands-free driving laws.

Interesting though is that there has actually been a reduction in the amount of citations being issued for phone-related offenses in recent years. In fact, the state's Traffic Safety Office reports that enforcement rates were highest in 2011 with 476,105 citations. By 2015, they had reached nearly half of that at 269,230.

Proponents of the law note that it doesn't make sense that the rates of distracted driving accidents are increasing, yet less is being done to try to prevent them from occurring.

Among the cities that are trying to be proactive in curbing the rate of distracted driving accidents is San Bernardino. Its police officers reportedly conduct regular "stings" in an attempt to catch drivers who are distracted.

During one of their most recent stings, the city's police officers posed as beggars and traveled around the city on its buses in an effort to catch offending motorists. In a few short hours, officers were able to cite as many as 58 drivers for violating the California's cellphone laws.

Officers with the San Bernardino Police Department fear that they can repeat the same operation month after month and get the same results.

They note that this may have a lot to do with the fact that the fine associated with a first time violation of this law is only $20. Many argue this small amount is just not enough of a deterrent to keep most motorists off their phones.

If you've been seriously injured after being struck by a motorist who you believe was on his or her phone at the time of the crash, then you may be able to recover costs associated with your medical bills. A San Bernardino car crash attorney can advise you as to how to go about doing that.

Source: NBC 4 Los Angeles, "Texting and driving: Why drivers get off easy in California," Joel Grover, accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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