Distracted Driving Awareness Month nets 161 citations

An effort to combat distracted driving in Newport Beach in April resulted in 161 citations, police said.

Offenses cited during Distracted Driving Awareness Month included driving while texting, talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device and minors using phones behind the wheel, according to Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe.

An additional 52 warnings were also issued, she said.

Fines for the violations range from $159 to $279.

California is one of 10 states that ban both hand-held cellphone use and texting while driving.

Automobile fatalities declined 22% statewide two years after the state banned such uses, according to the federal Department of Transportation.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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