SF District Attorney On Distracted Driving: “We need to work together to reduce the mayhem that’s going on on our streets”

In the wake of a recent state appellate court decision ruling that it is illegal to hold your phone while driving, San Francisco prosecutors and police today called attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said that ruling last month has “a tremendous impact” on how authorities in the city target distracted drivers.

Police Cmdr. Mikail Ali said distracted driving is not only caused by cellphones, but also “combing your hair, shaving, putting on makeup … anything that takes away your attention from operating your vehicle.”

Ali said, “In the roadway isn’t the place to handle those issues.”

According to the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency, about 60 percent of pedestrian traffic injuries and fatalities in San Francisco occur in crosswalks, compared to 45 percent in the entire state and 44 percent in New York City, a similarly dense urban area.

San Francisco prosecutors, police and the California Highway Patrol will continue education and enforcement efforts to reduce distracted driving and the accidents it often causes.

“We need to work together to reduce the mayhem that’s going on on our streets,” Gascon said.

More information on distracted driving can be found online at www.distraction.gov.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • mikesonn

    Maybe if the DA actually prosecuted a case involving a driver, we would start to see some changes. Until then, more of the same.

  • mikesonn

    Maybe if the DA actually prosecuted a case involving a driver, we would start to see some changes. Until then, more of the same.

  • EW77

    I do a lot of walking in this city and I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen people run red lights, turn right while looking left, driving at night without lights, etc. Last night, a woman skidded to a stop in front on me in the crosswalk as she noticed she was in the process of running a red light at Church/Market. After she apologized for watching the wrong light, I had to point out that she was driving without her lights on.

  • EW77

    I do a lot of walking in this city and I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen people run red lights, turn right while looking left, driving at night without lights, etc. Last night, a woman skidded to a stop in front on me in the crosswalk as she noticed she was in the process of running a red light at Church/Market. After she apologized for watching the wrong light, I had to point out that she was driving without her lights on.

  • elusis

    My phone and my iPod are essentially indistiguishable visually, and in terms of their function while I drive (playing music/podcasts.) So I’d like to know how that ruling is even vaguely enforceable.

  • elusis

    My phone and my iPod are essentially indistiguishable visually, and in terms of their function while I drive (playing music/podcasts.) So I’d like to know how that ruling is even vaguely enforceable.