The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors is expected to proclaim April 2022 as Distracted Driving Awareness Month at its April 5 meeting. The proclamation reminds motorists to drive with caution and to leave the phone alone while operating a vehicle, says a statement from county staff.
According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving affects people the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. It takes drivers’ eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel, and it can distract a person from recognizing potential hazards on the road.
“We’re proud to partner with the National Safety Council to urge drivers to put the phone down while driving,” said County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who wrote California’s “hands free” cell phone law while serving in the California State Senate. “Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents—it can ruin livelihoods and cost lives. But with a little care, we can avoid accidents and save lives. In fact, during the first year California’s hands-free cell phone law was in effect, highway deaths in California dropped by 20% – that means 700 fewer lives were lost. I want to encourage motorists this month, and throughout the year, to stay focused while driving. It’s a lifesaver, truly.”
Texting while driving is illegal and can cost motorists points off their driving record; offenders could be fined up to $162 for the first violation and more for subsequent offenses, according to county staff.
In support of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the County of Santa Clara offers the following tips to avoid the common dangers of distracted driving:
– Set the phone in driving mode to let others know that you’re behind the wheel and can’t answer texts.
– Use a hands-free device for mapping routes.
– Put the phone out of reach to avoid the temptation to check it while driving.
For more tips and information, go to leavethephonealone.org.