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Office of Traffic Safety

Distracted Driving

In July 2008, California passed a law prohibiting hand-held cell phone use while driving and in January 2009 a ban on texting while driving was passed. According to the OTS Statewide Intercept Opinion Survey, 61.2 percent of Californians stated that texting and talking are the biggest safety concerns on California roadways. OTS and CHP co-lead the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Distracted Driving Challenge Area by developing action items to reduce this problem. Countermeasures include increased and focused enforcement, observational surveys, and public awareness campaigns, while other actions are being developed to change behavior.


  • Reduce fatal collisions involving drivers using handheld cell phones
  • To reduce injury collisions involving drivers using handheld cell phones


Impact Teen Drivers
The CHP continued its partnership with Impact Teen Drivers, a non-profit education and awareness organization, to implement a program focusing on distracted driving among teens by providing a broad public awareness, educational, and media campaign. This outreach program provided effective tools in communicating the importance of driving safely by including teachers, parents, and teen groups. A total of 1,010 educational presentations were conducted reaching 303,793 persons at various high schools throughout the state. Through this partnership, 64 teen distracted driver enforcement operations were also conducted.

Worksite Intervention to Reduce Cell Phone Distracted Driving
Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at UC San Diego, the “Just Drive-Take Action Against Distraction” curriculum educated adults in the workplace on the dangers of distracted driving. The employer-sponsored program was delivered to 64 worksites, and impacted 3,554 employees throughout San Diego County. The one-hour class was part of a health and safety effort to reduce cell phone use while driving during business hours, as well as privately. According to pre and post program surveys, 89 percent of attendees reported increased awareness and motivation to change their behavior (50 percent or more) due to the dangers of distracted driving. In addition, the program promoted the adoption of a “No Cell Phone” policy by providing consultation to key decision makers regarding the scope of the problem, liability risk, and steps for successful policy implementation.