Sacramento, CA, April 5, 2011, noon – The CHP is joining forces with traffic safety partners in a month-long effort to put and end to distracted driving. Driver distraction is a significant and growing problem in California. Inattention while behind the wheel proved to be especially deadly in 2009 as 116 people lost their lives as the result of a collision in which at least one driver was distracted. More than 17,000 others were injured under similar circumstances. To address this growing concern, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and more than 200 law enforcement agencies throughout the state are conducting a series of enforcement efforts during April – National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Not only do drivers put themselves at risk while multi-tasking, drivers increase the risk of injuring or killing their passengers or innocent victims traveling in another vehicle. It is the responsibility of all drivers to keep the roads safe. To help address the deadly problem, the CHP received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, local police and sheriffs’ departments will be adding several ‘zero tolerance’ enforcement days throughout the month. Hoping to drive the message home and convince motorists to disconnect from this distracting, often deadly behavior while behind the wheel, the CHP will, in addition to the enforcement effort, launch a grant-funded public service campaign, conduct educational presentations and staff booths at community events at which educational materials can be distributed.

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