LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — April may be tax month, but in California it will also bring a massive crackdown on drivers texting or talking on handheld cellphones.
A recent government study found that 69 percent of U.S. drivers say they talk on cellphones while driving.
About 33 percent say they read or send texts while behind the wheel.
Last year, police issued 425,041 tickets statewide for talking on handheld phones.
That figure is down about 35,000 from the previous year, but it’s a 41 percent increase from 2009, the first full year of the cellphone ban.
Police gave out 21,059 texting citations in 2012 — a 41.5 percent increase from the previous year, and a huge 640 percent jump since 2009.
A ticket for talking or texting while driving costs at least $159.
During last year’s April cellphone crackdown, police across the state wrote almost 61,000 tickets, more than double the usual monthly total.