Cops crack down on distracted drivers


REDDING, Calif. - April is distracted driving awareness month and officers are being vigilant in cracking down on drivers.

According to information released by the Redding Police Department driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.

Using a cell phone whether it's hand held or hands free delays a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent.

Officer Boun Kongkeoviman, with the Redding Police Department, said inone day of the campaign in 10 hours he stopped 30 cars and cited 24 people for distracted driving.

That includes texting and talking on the phone.

Kongkeoviman said he often gets frustrated when he arrives to the scene of a crash that could've been prevented because of distracted driving but believes people are starting to realize the danger of not fully paying attention.

"Perception and the reaction gap is about a three quarters of a second and if you're traveling about 30 miles an hour, three seconds from the time that you look down and the time you look up, you're traveling approx 141 feet. In addition to that the three quarter gap causes you to travel another 30 or 40 feet so by the time you come to a complete and full stop it could lead up to about 200 feet," Kongkeoviman explained.

Those age 20 and under are the most likely to drive distracted with the highest proportion of distracted-related fatal crashes.

Juveniles are also not allowed to use cell phones at all while driving.

That's with or without an ear piece and whether or not on speaker phone.

Statistics from the California Highway Patrol were not available.

Zero tolerance enforcement for distracted driving will continue for the rest of April.