police-light-bar1.jpgBay Area law enforcement agencies issued more than 1,600 citations to drivers using their phones without hands-free devices on Wednesday, bringing the total during a two-day increased enforcement period to about 2,500, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities conducted the campaign against drivers violating state cell phone laws on Aug. 10 and Aug. 18.

More than 900 citations were issued to cell phone law violators throughout the Bay Area on Aug. 10. The number nearly doubled to 1,600 on the second day of the campaign, according the CHP.

Some of the stopped violators led to other citations and several arrests.

According to the CHP, two separate cell phone enforcement stops in Concord and one in Castro Valley led to three arrests of drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Another stop by Concord police led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle. Several stops throughout the Bay Area led to arrests of people driving without a license or driving on a suspended license.

One person in Contra Costa County was stopped twice for talking on a cell phone by two different officers within three hours, according to the CHP.

CHP spokeswoman Brandie Dressel said the average fine for a first-time offense could run between $120 and $150, although it can be more in some areas.

The law requiring drivers to use hands-free devices to talk on their cell phones went into effect July 1, 2008. A law banning text messaging went into effect shortly after that, Dressel said.

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