Police cite drivers for chatting, texting

Dozens of Glendale motorists caught chatting or texting were cited during this week's crackdown against distracted drivers, police said.

Seven Glendale Police Department traffic officers cited 56 motorists for talking on a cell phone while driving, another four drivers were cited for texting, and a motorist was issued an unsafe speeding ticket for being distracted while driving, Sgt. Dennis Smith said. The 2008 ban applies only to holding the device; Bluetooth and other hands-free devices are still permitted. Fines range from $120 to $150.

"Most of my guys don't have a problem finding them," he said.

Getting motorists to fess up can be a challenge, Smith said. But officers generally don't engage the driver in a dispute, he added.

"Let the courts take care of that," Smith said.

Glendale police officers plan to also participate in a similar regional operation set for Oct. 26, he said.

"I think it's something that is real important," Smith said.

Tuesday's operation was initiated by the California Highway Patrol, whose officials said they plan to release their own figures this coming Thursday.

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