Distracted driving crackdown nets 470 cell-phone scofflaws countywide


City News Service

San Diego County sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers ticketed three juveniles and 467 adults for driving while talking or texting on their cell phones during a nearly weeklong crackdown on distracted driving.

The effort started Feb. 13 and wrapped up Saturday. The minimum fine for talking without a hands-free device, or texting on a cell phone, is $159 for a first offense. Repeat offenders pay $279. Adults must use a hands-free device for talking on cell phones, and texting while driving is banned. Sheriff’s Lt. David Gilmore said juveniles were cited under a zero-tolerance policy, which prohibits cell phone use of any kind by underage motorists.

Aside from those ticketed, law enforcement officers logged 556 instances of seeing drivers violating laws related to cell phones, though those drivers were not cited because the officers were handling more important business, Gilmore said.

“Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk,” he said. “Several drivers who were contacted remarked that they had seen the public information campaign prior to their traffic stop and subsequent citation.”

According to the state Office of Traffic Safety, drivers who use hand- held devices are four times more likely to get into accidents and injure themselves.

Average San Diego County Gasoline Price Reaches Highest Amount Since May 21

Eds: Jeffrey Spring or Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California can be reached at (714) 885-2333.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose today to its highest amount since May 21 of last year, increasing 2.6 cents to $4.113.

The average price has risen for 28 consecutive days and is 20.3 cents more than one week ago, 37.5 cents higher than a month ago and 53.6 cents more than a year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price has risen 35.6 cents over the past 28 days, including 1.6 cents on Tuesday.

Analysts have cited increasing oil prices and the closure of some California refineries for maintenance as reasons for the rising gasoline prices.

Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.

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