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Oxnard Police cracking down on distracted driving by going undercover

It seems harmless.

You’re sitting at a stoplight waiting for the light to turn green, so you look down at your phone.

But that simple move is exactly what Oxnard Police is trying to stop.

On Wednesday, Officer Sergio Figueroa went undercover at one of the busiest intersections in the city – Oxnard Boulevard and Vineyard Avenue.

“I was in plain clothes, and I had a cardboard sign that said, ‘the truth shall set you free’ and then I had my body-worn camera tucked in between the cardboard so I could record all of the violations as I announced them to the officers,” said Figueroa.

In a five-hour time frame, Figueroa cited 85 people for distracted driving.

The intersection is not only busy – it’s dangerous. From January 2018 to July 2018, the area saw 30 traffic accidents.

“It’s scary to see from the position I was in,” said Figueroa. “The fact that so many people are not paying attention, both while they are driving and just sitting in their car waiting for the light to cycle…that is how other crimes occur because people are not paying attention to their surroundings.”

The Oxnard Police Department does undercover operations around 4 to 5 times a year.

There is another big incentive to put your phones down when you’re in your car, beyond just safety.

The fine for distracted driving is around 160 dollars.

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