Newport, Costa Mesa police boost distracted driving enforcement

More than 700 drivers received tickets for distracted driving in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach last month.

In April, the cities' two police departments stepped up enforcement against drivers texting or talking on their phones without a hands-free device.

Newport Beach officers wrote 491 such citations, and Costa Mesa police wrote 117, according to announcements from both departments.

Police throughout Orange County participated in the enforcement campaign with about 200 departments.

A grant distributed through the California Office of Traffic Safety let officers work overtime during which time they focused specifically on drivers distracted by cell phones.

A cell-phone related fine is about $160 on the first offense.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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