In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April, the Mill Valley Police Department would like to remind residents to drive carefully. Distracted driving includes any behavior that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This can include using a cell phone, eating, applying makeup, talking to passengers, or adjusting a playlist, among other activities. All distractions endanger the safety of the driver, passengers, and others on the roadway. In California, cell phone laws have been enacted to help make our roads safer. These laws prohibit the handheld usage of electronic devices and require drivers to use hands-free methods (bluetooth, voice command, etc.) to operate their devices. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a cell phone under any circumstances, even if it is hands-free. Additionally, actions that may not seem explicitly illegal, like grooming or having a dog on your lap, can still be cited under other vehicle sections, like VC 22350, which holds motorists accountable for driving in a manner that creates a danger to people or property. In Mill Valley, the Miller Avenue Project and the changing nature of our roads present an extra hazard for distracted drivers. By driving cautiously and staying focused, we can keep our community safer and reduce the number of collisions on our streets.
In addition to Distracted Driving Awareness Month, April 3rd – 9th serves as Teen Driver Safety Week in California. The Mill Valley Police Department would like to encourage parents to talk to their teens to promote safe driving habits, both as drivers and as passengers. Teen drivers are often at a heightened risk for distracted driving and young drivers report the highest level of phone involvement in crashes or near crashes. Parents should discuss dangerous habits, like alcohol use, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and driving extra passengers. Most importantly, parents should model good behavior, as studies have shown that parents who engage in distracting behaviors more frequently have teens who engage in distracting behaviors. Learn more about statistics related to distracted driving here.
Keep our community safe by following the rules of the road and remaining alert while you drive. Click here for more information and additional resources.