Observational study finds increasing distracted driving violations

Observational study finds increasing distracted driving violations

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - California Highway Patrol officers will be on the lookout for anyone on their phones while driving during Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

An observational study from the state Office of Traffic Safety found a 27% increase in overall distracted driving violations.

Of the 17 counties surveyed, Monterey County was listed as 7th, listing higher than Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Alamedia County among others.

The California Highway Patrol is acknowledging overall rising distracted driving violations and will be keeping an eye on drivers through April 19 who are committing those violations.

"Our goal is ultimately to save lives," says Officer Jessica Madueno with the CHP. "We want to keep the public safe and those who share the road safe regardless of where you're going."

The sample size of the counties surveyed varies, but even a single person caught for violating distracted driving laws raises concern for CHP officers.

"Could be anything like picking up something that fell on the floor like your lunch or a CD or your phone," says Officer Madueno. "A lot of people travel here to Monterey County so most of the time it's their GPS."

Officer Madueno also says much of the prevention starts with education, which begins at home.

She says parents should be mindful of how they're behaving on the road so teen drivers don't possibly pick up on the same bad habits.

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