News Story


Thousand Oaks Police Increase Patrols for Distracted Drivers
3/4/2015 7:53:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Distracted Driver Enforcement Patrols

Report Number:



City of Thousand Oaks


Date & Time:

March 6, 2015, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Unit Responsible:

Thousand Oaks Police-Traffic Bureau

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence






Thousand Oaks Police Department to Step Up Enforcement for Distracted Drivers


In an effort to make our roads safer, the Thousand Oaks Police Department is deploying extra traffic enforcement officers on Friday, March 6, 2015, to stop distracted driving.  Thousand Oaks PD is spreading the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road. 


Using an electronic device while driving is a serious safety problem. Most drivers know that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior, but many still use their cell phones and other mobile devices when they are behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates.


In 2012, 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 were injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.


While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction ' visual, manual and cognitive.  In addition, most drivers aren't aware that just talking on a cell phone, hand held or hands free, can lead to 'inattention blindness' as critical brain functions needed for driving are used for cell phone talking.


At any given daylight moment across America, there are about 660,000 drivers using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.  The Thousand Oaks Police Department is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through enforcement, public awareness and education ' the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.  


In a national survey, almost half (48%) of drivers say they answer their cell phones while driving at least some of  the time, and more than half of those (58%) continue to drive after answering the call. Your Police Department recommends the following safety measures:


You can:

         turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive

         speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task


Parents can:

         be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving

         If you know your teen is on the road ' don't call or text them until you know they have reached their destination


Employers can:

         Adopt, publicize, and enforce company policies that prohibit employees from texting or talking on hand-held cell phones while in a company vehicle, or in a personal vehicle while using a company issued cell phone.


Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.   For more information about distracted driving, please visit


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Prepared by:

Brad Clifton, Sergeant


Media Release Date:

March 3, 2015


Media Follow-Up Contact:

Brad Clifton, Sergeant



Approved by:

Jim Fryhoff, Captain