‘Hands free’ enforcement in Carlsbad a success

CARLSBAD — At the busy intersection of Palomar Airport Road and Paseo Del Norte just off Interstate-5 Tuesday morning, a Carlsbad police motorcycle officer hit the lights and blared his siren behind a young woman in a silver Jetta. She wasn’t speeding and didn’t run a red light. She was on her cell phone, and that was just what Carlsbad police was looking for.

Zero Tolerance Drivers talking on Cellphones

Nov. 30 was the second scheduled day of enforcing the “zero tolerance” campaign against drivers who violate the hands-free law. Departmentwide, Carlsbad police issued 55 cell phone and texting citations while 11 were given warnings according to police Lt. Marc Reno.

The department  joined with other San Diego county law enforcement agencies in Tuesday’s hands-free crackdown. Officers worked their regular shifts, but with a focus on identifying and citing hands free violators.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website, each cell phone citation carries a fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for repeat offenders, which can add up quickly. The fine can also triple with penalty assessments.

The first hands-free enforcement day was held on Nov. 16, with great success. Officers issued 49 cell phone citations, one texting citation and let five people off with warnings, according to the Carlsbad Police Department. Given the success of the first two it is likely that more hands-free enforcement days will be planned in the future.


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