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Authorities crack down on distracted driving in Santa Rosa, Petaluma

If you're driving and illegally using your cellphone these days there's a stronger chance you may find yourself pulled to the side of the road as Santa Rosa, Petaluma, CHP and other local law enforcement officers are participating in a statewide campaign focusing on distracted drivers.

Santa Rosa's traffic and patrol officers Tuesday were on the lookout for drivers using phones, as well as people not paying attention for any reason, said traffic Sgt. Rich Celli.

"We're also looking at just being distracted in general, putting on your make-up, reading the newspaper while driving down the road..." said Celli. "If it's a factor in how you're driving then you're putting the public at risk."

Tuesday's Santa Rosa effort was citywide. Officers' extra focus on distracted drivers was scheduled through Monday.

Petaluma police Tuesday too were taking a zero tolerance stance with distracted drivers, said Lt. Tim Lyons.

The current minimum ticket cost for being caught improperly using a cellphone is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $279, reported police officials.

More than 225 law enforcement agencies statewide were participating in the campaign in April, according to law enforcement officials.


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