LANCASTER – Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. The practice is unsafe and can result in a traffic collision, possibly injuring or killing yourself or somebody else.
So says California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez, who conducted traffic enforcement in the Antelope Valley on Wednesday aimed at educating the public on distracted driving and the danger it poses.
Hernandez said he was watching for common driving distractions, including texting, talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking, applying makeup, or anything else that could potentially divert a driver’s attention away from the road.
In a little over an hour, Hernandez made four traffic stops for various violations, including distracted driving, flicking cigarette ash out the window, wearing earbuds while driving and making an illegal turn.
“Our goal is to eliminate those behaviors and high-risk factors that cause traffic collisions,” he said.
Next up, the local CHP is preparing for its annual Labor Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP), which begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 29, and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 2.
The Labor Day MEP also coincides with the ongoing national drunk driving enforcement crackdown, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Last year during the Labor Day MEP, 49 people were killed in collisions on California roadways, which was a 40 percent increase from the same period in 2012. More than 70 percent of those killed in collisions within CHP jurisdiction were not wearing a seat belt.
To help make the holiday weekend safe for everyone, CHP officials are urging drivers to buckle up, drive at a safe and legal speed, avoid distractions, and designate a driver.