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Drivers still texting despite California ban, Auto Club surveys indicate


The Auto Club of Southern California says surveys by the organization indicate that a California law banning texting while driving is not having the intended results.

According to the surveys, texting while driving declined after the ban went into effect in January 2009. But more recently, it's gone up, according to the survey of Orange County drivers.

Before the ban, the Auto Club found, 1.4% of motorists surveyed were texting at any given time.

A few months after the ban took effect, that figure dropped to 0.5%, but the survey in late March and early April found it increased to 1.1%.

According to the auto club, the methodology of the surveys was as follows: "They were conducted using systematic random samples of about 4,000 vehicles that were passing by seven roadside sites in Orange County. Surveys were conducted during six time periods: June 2008, prior to the cell phone law first taking effect; July, August and October 2008; May and July 2009; and March-April 2010. Observational surveys were conducted in morning, early afternoon, evening commutes and on freeway entrances and exits, and urban, suburban and small city roadways."

-- Shelby Grad

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (12)

it's happening all the time and they do not mind holding anyone up while they do their thing.......stupid thing is this leaves an electronic record of doing so, so they will be heavily prosecuted hopefully

If we just could get everyone to go along with Oprah's no phone calls, no texting while driving. Then we would only have to worry about the women watching Oprah's videos on her iPhone app.

I see it all the time when I'm riding the bus. So many near-miss accidents.

Can anyone explain why this story, which is about a survey done by the Auto Club of SOUTHERN California in Orange County, features a picture from the San Francisco area. Alemany Blvd is an exit from I-280 (Exit 53) and from US-101 (Exit 431), neither of which are in Southern California?

what a bunch of idiots.
just took care of someone that nearly got killed after plowing into the back of a truck while texting and driving.

Umm.......because they wanted a pic with a "don't text while driving" message......

Personal opinion? Texting while driving should be a felony. I live in New England where this is also a HUGE problem. New Hampshire banned texting while driving this year also. I have literally had to have cars I was a passenger in pull to the side of the road so I could ge follow thorugh on my threat to get out and walk. And walk I did. I will not be a silent partner to driver inattention and arrogance while semi-piloting a machine that can kill with misuse.

To Larry Scholnick the answer to your query is on the signboard attached to the bridge. See it? This photo was probably a stock photo the LA Times had on hand that perfectly illustrated the article. Does it REALLY matter where in California the picture was taken? The law applies to the entire state. Peace.

Start raising the fines to #500 per incident before someone gets killed

Larry Scholnick - That's not the purpose of the photo. The sign next to the street sign says "Don't Text While Driving, Jan. 1st" is a sign notifying of a STATEWIDE law that went into effect that no one follows because the fines are a JOKE. Are you assuming that people in northern California don't text and drive?

I don't understand why they do not increase the penalties to that of not wearing a seatbeat. Texting is even more dangerous because you are putting OTHER people's lives at risk.

A few sting operations set up around town ought to bring those so called surveys points up. Harsher penalties should be implemented also. Treat it like a speeding or red light violation. Can you imagine the revenues generated in one day. Every day during my commute to & from work, I've seen at least thirty people texting or talking on their devices. By the way, my commute is nine miles. Round trip.

this needs to be a real moving violation. treat it like DWI. take the LAPD motorcycle officers off parade duty and use them everyday all day to cite these drivers.

you want to solve the city's budget crisis, start citing these infractions, make a real misdemeanor.....

oh wait, we need to cover mayor photo-op over at the sign while we have thousands waiting for free health care at the sports center. i didnt see one city leader there.
just maria shriver Schwarzenegger.........

time to put up texting cameras at intersections....


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