Cops to target texting behind the wheel

The Newport Beach and Costa Mesa police departments will mount "zero tolerance" traffic patrols in April targeting motorists who text or use hand-held cell phones while driving.

Starting Monday, NBPD will join more than 225 police agencies statewide and 103 California Highway Patrol area commands in handing out tickets to motorists suspected of driving and texting or using hand-held phones at the same time, Newport police said in a Wednesday news release.

NBPD officials did not give other dates beyond Monday, but said the zero tolerance days would continue during the month. April is officially California's inaugural "Distracted Driving Awareness Month."

Costa Mesa police issued a separate release Wednesday noting that additional traffic officers would be deployed on April 13 and April 27 to crack down on motorists texting or using hand-held phones while driving.

—Imran Vittachi

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