Cellphone use among drivers is rising, but fewer citations are being issued

As reported by the Orange County Register:

On an October day last year, 18-year-old Alexis Patlan stood at a busy intersection just west of Garden Grove’s Santiago High School at morning rush hour with one task – log distracted drivers.

The hourlong survey, part a larger awareness campaign with schools, yielded troubling results. The majority of motorists observed were fumbling with their cellphones, downing breakfast, or both. One standout offender was “eating a doughnut with one hand and on the cellphone with the other hand,” recalled Patlan, who graduated from the school last month.

Despite years of warnings about the potentially fatal consequences of using mobile devices behind the wheel, distracted driving jumped significantly in the past year, according to a newly released state traffic safety study.

The increase comes as law enforcement agencies face added challenges in catching violators, and experts say the upward trend is being exacerbated, in part, by quickly evolving mobile devices as well as a growing obsession with texting and social media. …

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