The Alhambra Police Department will join 225 local agencies across California beginning April 4 in conducting zero-tolerance enforcement for texting or cell phone usage. Penalties for violating the no texting or hands free law will result in initial tickets of $159 and subsequent ones of $279.
"Cell phone use and texting while driving is such a serious concern that we are putting officers on the road to enforce zero tolerance," said Alhambra Chief Jim Anthony in a statement. "Is that text message or cell phone call really worth $159?"
The Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher Murphy took the question even further: "Think about the vast majority of calls and texts you receive everyday. Were any really worth a $159 ticket — or worse, a crash, injury, or death?"
Changing driving patterns will not be easy, a fact the office of traffic safety says it recognizes. "That's why we are stepping up enforcement and public awareness efforts," Murphy said. "Convincing California drivers to wear seat belt 20 years ago wasn't easy either, but in 2010 more than 96 percent buckled up and thousands of lives were saved."