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STEP Campaign Results in More Tickets

In April 2014, during an increased cell phone enforcement campaign, California law enforcement officers wrote 5,000 more cell phone tickets than normal.

The Golden State's version of the nationwide Distracted Driver Awareness Month, dubbed " It's Not Worth It", aims to raise awareness about the danger of distracted driving in general, and cell phone use while driving in particular. Last April, during a similar campaign, CHP reported that officers issued over 57,000 cell phone tickets statewide.

Nationwide in 2012, an estimated 3,328 people died and 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

Stepped-Up Enforcement

It is not unusual for law enforcement to focus on one area, such as cell phones, DUIs, speeding, seat-belt use, and the list goes on. Generally known as STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program) campaigns, the philosophy is simple: motorists' fear of being punished outweighs their desire to break the law. Most of these initiatives combine some sort of advertising campaign with more officers on the streets. In other words, these programs cost money. The only way for the state to recoup these costs is by writing tickets.

But cell phone tickets are about more than just the fine. They can also cause someone to lose a job or have their insurance rates go up. A savvy lawyer in Lamont or Shafter knows that there are several possible defenses to distracted driving type offenses that can be used to either beat a cell phone ticket, or negotiate an outcome that will not affect your future.