Sacto 9-1-1
May 16, 2012
Cell phone tickets written in April in California up 5,000

The number of drivers cited for using their cell phones while driving in April was up over a year earlier.

The California Highway Patrol and 265 local police agencies last month handed out more than 57,000 tickets to drivers who were using a hand-held cell phone or texting. The compares to 52,000 tickets issued in April 2011.

"Unfortunately, we're seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the state Office of Traffic Safety.

His office has conducted an advertising campaign that has included the "Don't Be a Distracted Driving Zombie" television commercials that emphasize how up to 37 percent of brain power needed for driving gets switched to cell phone talking.

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