California Highway Patrol officers Tuesday issued 113 tickets to drivers using a cell phone while driving in Stanislaus County. The CHP officers also issued three tickets to drivers caught texting while on the road, said officer Eric Parsons, a CHP spokesman.
Tuesday was the first day in a two-day valleywide crackdown to deter texting and cell-phone use without a hands-free device.
Other law enforcement agencies in the county joined the CHP in the effort, which is partially geared to remind drivers of the state's laws prohibiting cell-phone use.
"It's really important we make people aware this is a law," Parsons said.
The Modesto police Traffic Unit alone issued 55 tickets for illegal cell-phone use on Tuesday, said department spokesman Sgt. Rick Armendariz. The number of tickets issued by all patrol officers was not available.
While the basic fine for a first-time offense is $20, the cost easily can top $100 after court assessments are included. Traffic safety experts say a driver using a hand-held phone is four times more likely to be in an accident than other drivers.