Using a cell phone without a hands-free set is a big no-no.
While some drivers have slipped under the watchful eye of law enforcement, that may be a little tougher beginning early Tuesday through late Wednesday night.
A 48-hour “zero tolerance” campaign, backed by the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies in Stanislaus County and throughout the Central Valley, begins just after midnight tonight.
“Far too many motorists are still not dialed-in to the rules and are either being cited for it or becoming a grim statistic,” according to CHP spokesman Eric Parsons.
Police and deputies in Stanislaus, Merced, Tuolumne Counties and those throughout the valley will be on the lookout for drivers chatting or texting away.
Rick Armendariz, spokesman for the Modesto Police Department, said it’s still an issue despite fines from $20 to $50. The cost is more when factoring in administrative costs.
“Unfortunately, it still occurs on consistent basis,” Armendariz said. “It’s a habit-changer that takes a process.”Armendariz offered these tips beyond using a hands-free device:
If the phone rings, let it ring. “So you don’t answer the phone for a few minutes. It’s not the end of the world.”
If you must use your phone, find a safe place to pull over. That could be a side street or a shopping center parking lot. Never pull over on the side of the freeway, he said.
The crackdown ends at Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.