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CHP out in full force for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the highway patrol was out in full force to make sure those caught using their phones would pay the price.

The month of April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the California Highway Patrol was out in full force to make sure those caught using their phones would pay the price.

On Friday, the Northern Division for California Highway Patrol was busy issuing tickets and warning drivers of the real danger of sending texts or picking up a phone call while behind the wheel.

CHP Officer Jason Morton said it's very easy for drivers to get distracted when they use their cellphones.

"If you're going 70-80 miles per hour on the freeway like most people do, you're traveling a lot of feet per second while you're out there driving. So in [that] one second you look up and nothing is on the shoulder and next thing you look down, in five seconds you are travel 400-500 feet or more and the next thing you know, you look up and you have a pedestrian in front of you, a bicyclist in front of you, you have stop traffic in front of you," said Officer Morton.

According to AT&T's new research nearly 9-in-10 people admitted to using their smartphone while driving. They also provided that 81 percent text while driving, and 50 percent access social media while driving.

CHP Officer Calvin Robertson said citations for distracted driving can range from $159 to $270 dollars in California.

Officer Morton said it's better for drivers to have an app that disables their notifications while driving in order to not get distracted.

On Friday, he said he wrote out several citations to the individuals caught using their phones or have the device in their hands.

"We leased 16 citations issued and many more. We didn't even have enough cars to even chase after those violators on their cell phones," said Officer Morton.

He said even though the CHP were focused on making sure people were not texting and driving, they're still checking for those who were not following the laws like speeding, expired registration, or issuing tickets for having front seat tinted windows.

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