BEVERLY HILLS — The Beverly Hills Police Department announced on Friday, September 4, that it will make an extra effort to monitor drivers using their phones while driving. 

The department will have additional patrol officers throughout the month of September “looking for drivers that are violating the state’s hands-free cell phone law.”

“Distracted driving is a serious issue, but one that can be easily solved simply by putting the phone down,” Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti said in a news release. “That text, phone call, email, or social media post can wait.”

Police are suggesting that drivers leave their phones out of their reach to avoid being distracted. If the driver has to answer a call or program directions on a GPS device, he or she should “pull over to a safe parking spot” before driving, according to police officials.

Among other distractions, drivers should be aware of “eating, grooming, talking to passengers, using GPS, adjusting the radio, taking off a jacket, reaching for an object on the floor, or navigating a vehicle’s in-dash touchscreen,” according to Beverly Hills police. 

First offenders of a driver cell phone violation are subject to a $157 fine. 

“Using your cell phone while driving is not only dangerous, but also illegal. You can only use it in a hands-free manner, such as speaker phone or voice commands, but never while holding it,” according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.