Distracted drivers killed more than 33,000 people last year in the U.S. 387,000 were injured.
Next week, a coalition of South Coast law enforcement will take aim at the problem with stepped-up enforcement. CHP, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and City of Santa Barbara officers will be targeting motorists who text or dial mobile phones without hands-free devices.
Sheriff’s Lt. Brad McVay says, vehicles can “…travel the length of a football field in seconds.” He cites the death of Santa Maria college student Erick Okerblom, who was struck and killed by a driver holding a cell phone.
Increased “hands free” enforcement will continue through the month of April.