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Distracted drivers

10/5/2010, 8:55 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--California Highway Patrol officers will be out in force in the Los Angeles area today to make sure motorists are complying with laws against texting or using hand-held cell phones.

"Distracted driving is a serious, life-threatening practice,'' CHP Sgt. Denise Joslin said. "With ever-growing technological advancement, the need to stop distracted driving has never been as great.''

More than 30,000 Californians were involved in traffic collisions in 2008 which "inattention played a role,'' the CHP reported. More than 1,000 of them identified a cell phone as the reason for their inattention.

"The message is simple,'' said CHP Chief Steve Beeuwsaert. "No call, text or any other distraction is worth someone losing their life. Pay attention and drive safely.''

CHP Southern Division officers will conduct another "zero tolerance'' enforcement effort in the Los Angeles area on Oct. 26, the agency reported. The enforcement efforts have been taking place in other parts of the state for the past couple of months.