ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) -- Police in Escondido are joining law enforcement throughout the state in cracking down on distracted driving throughout April.
Throughout the month, the city is deploying extra traffic officers thanks to grant-funded resources. Violators will be stopped and cited with fines set at $162 for first-time offenders.
On April 5 and April 13, law enforcement officials all over the state are set to step up distracted driving enforcement.
According to authorities, officers have issued hundreds of thousands of citations over the past three years to those texting or calling while driving.
Recent legislation has even gone as far as to make it illegal to use a smartphone’s apps while driving.
"California’s distracted driving laws have been saving lives for a decade now,” said former State Senator Joe Simitian, who authored the state’s hands-free and no-texting laws. “Every day, somewhere in California, someone is sitting down to dinner with their family who wouldn't have made it through the day without these laws on the books. That’s tremendously gratifying.”
Data from 2017 shows that nearly 22,000 were involved in distracted driving crashes throughout California.
“Traffic safety has consistently been a top priority in Escondido,” said Chief Craig Carter. “If our enforcement and education campaign to eliminate distracted driving saves even one life, I would consider that a success.”