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Sonoma County law enforcement cracking down on distracted driving

April is the month CHP and police agencies write more tickets for distracted drivers -- mainly cellphone users.

Sonoma County law enforcement, as well as agencies statewide, is participating in the monthlong crackdown with added enforcement and personnel.

Almost five years after holding a cellphone while driving became illegal and more than four years since texting went criminal, the law breakers are everywhere, said police.

"We're not having a hard time finding the violations," Petaluma traffic Sgt. Ken Savano said.

A fatal crash on the Sonoma Coast on Sunday night provided traffic officers with the ultimate example of how dangerous it can be to drive distracted.

A 22-year-old Sonoma woman died after she missed a sharp turn on Highway 1 north of Bodega Bay. Her Honda Accord overturned into a drainage culvert.

Passengers told CHP officers the woman had been holding her cell phone in her hand and looking at the phone's navigational system as she drove.

She'd also reportedly been drinking.

CHP officers Tuesday continued to investigate the crash and how much of a role those two factors played in the fatality, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

"Alcohol affects your ability to multi-task. Add a cellphone in your hand, something bad is going to happen," Sloat said.


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