Motorists in Menifee could receive an expensive reminder of the state’s cell phone use restrictions Monday if they’re not in compliance during a “distracted driving enforcement operation” conducted by police.

“Distracted driving is a real problem here in Menifee and is the cause of so many accidents these days,” police Chief Chris Karrer said. “People seem to think that a cell phone is more important than driving safely. The truth is, so many of our traffic collisions are caused by distracted drivers, and this can be prevented by simply staying off your cell phone.”

Patrol officers will be conducting targeted patrols citywide throughout the day Monday.

Karrer said motorists need to bear in mind that talking, texting, using an app or anything else that involves holding a mobile phone while driving is illegal. Under state law, the cell phone must be utilized hands-free.

However, the hands-free component doesn’t apply to motorists who are younger than 18 years old; they’re entirely prohibited from using a mobile phone in any manner while operating a motor vehicle.

A first offense for a cell phone distraction violation can result in a $162 ticket, according Menifee police. Motorists who rack up two or more infractions in a 36-month period can have a point placed on their license, resulting in higher auto insurance costs.

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