April marked a surge in the use of handheld devices by drivers, or simply a more concerted effort by police to identify and cite those drivers who have been flaunting the law.
The California Office of Traffic and Safety said it is doubtful the numbers are going to get better any time soon, despite increased enforcement.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon,” said OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy in a statement.
A recent OTS survey found that more than 10 percent of drivers talk or text while driving. More drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 admitted to talking or texting in this survey, raising the figure to 18 percent — only 9 percent of that group said they used their cell phones while driving in 2011.
To counteract the problem, OTS official said it would continue with the “It’s Not Worth It!” campaign, to raise public awareness and enforcement efforts.
“There are those who understand the dangers and have curtailed their use, while others think the hazards apply to everyone else but them,” said Murphy. “We can’t stop until we convince everyone that they are putting their own life and others around them at risk with this perilous behavior.”