In one day, April 18, Manhattan Beach, California, police decided to send a loud and clear message to drivers that they would not tolerate distracted driving in their community. The stepped up enforcement resulted in 78 citations for cell phone use, 15 for texting and one warning for distracted speeding.

There were five motorcycle mounted police officers and four patrol cars involved in the crack down which was meant to coincide with Distracted Driving Month (April.)

Police in Manhattan Beach are calling the stepped up enforcement campaign a big success and say it is likely they will continue to aggressively enforce California distracted driving laws. In light of a recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board that distracted driving is now the single most common cause of traffic fatalities, it seems likely this stepped-up enforcement will continue for some time.

The focused enforcement is part of MBPD’s participation in Distracted Driving Month, as traffic patrol jurisdictions raise awareness in California during April, said Mason.

Mason wrote 26 of the April 18 citations and said that five motorcycle officers joined four patrol cars in the enforcement on April 18.

“We’ve always paid attention to it [distracted driving],” said Mason on Friday. He said that drivers should drive with both hands free at all times. He said that drivers don’t always know that it’s illegal to take their eyes off the road to hit a button to answer a cell phone or to look at an email or text message.

On April 3, another special enforcement day in light of Distracted Driving Month, one patrol car and four motorcycle officers provided enforcement.