GEORGE TAKATA: Distracted driving is a no-no anywhere - but the California Highway Patrol will be focusing in on one key area to try and catch distracted drivers: school zones - joining me to tell us all about it is johnny fisher from the CHP... good morning.
JOHNNY FISHER: Good morning!
GEORGE TAKATA: We're right in the middle of operation no cell phones around schools - talk about the effort that's going on.
JOHNNY FISHER: School started yesterday in the Clovis area - operation no cell phones around schools and this will segue right into the maximum enforcement period where the CHP is going to really be cracking down on distracted driving.
GEORGE TAKATA: How much more patrolling are you doing in school zones?
JOHNNY FISHER: We have a program right now called the cops program that focuses on school zones and different types of violations - however, the #1 killer of teens in America year after year after year is traffic collisions and part of that is distracted driving - we're gonna get out there and make sure everyone's safe while they're inside and outside school zones - from Modesto to Bakersfield and everything in between we're gonna be out there really looking for distracted drivers.
GEORGE TAKATA: Teenagers are distracted enough as it is and your phone isn't helping you out.
JOHNNY FISHER: You're absolutely right - there's a lot going on behind the eyes and in between the ears for teens - during the summer months there aren't too many school zones to students outside the fence lines during school hours and in between the signs - there isn't a whole lot of that going on - you're driving 40 miles an hour through the zone - now it's back down to 25 miles per hour - couple that with make-up, eating, cell phones, whatever it is - forgetting your sunglasses, whatever it is - you want to be safe out there.
GEORGE TAKATA: distracted driving is bad driving - in 2012 you had 405 injury collisions around here where a contributing factor was inattention by the driver - that's inexcusable basically, right?
JOHNNY FISHER: it really is - when you're driving, you should be focused on driving - it is a complex thing, it really is - you're pushing around a 3 to 4 thousand pound death machine essentially - anything that diverts your attention away from the tasks of navigating a vehicle is distracted driving so it can literally be anything.
GEORGE TAKATA: talk about the effort you have coming up labor day weekend.
JOHNNY FISHER: operation no cell phones around schools is going to segway to cell phone free which doesn't mean we're giving away cell phones - friday, saturday and sunday - all the way through the labor day weekend just want to make sure everyone gets to where they're going safely - limit distractions, put your cell phone down - it would be great if we had a kill switch for cell phones as soon as you put them in your vehicle.
GEORGE TAKATA: officer johnny fisher, thank you for your time - don't drive distracted - we'll be right back.