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Distracted driving enforcement campaign nets 825 violations

A distracted driving campaign conducted across Santa Clara County over five days last month resulted in more than 900 traffic stops, the organizing agency reported.

The Kirk Griess Memorial Enforcement Campaign took place Aug. 5-9, with the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety organizing the local effort and agencies including the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, the Los Altos Police Department and the Mountain View Police Department participating. Patrol officers primarily focused on drivers distracted from traffic by their cellphones. They issued 825 citations for such violations, said Capt. Ava Fanucchi of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Between 12 and 16 officers and deputies took part in the enforcement each day, said Capt. Rich Urena, West Valley Patrol Division commander for the Sheriff’s Office.

After a morning briefing at a designated department, the participants moved in groups from city to city, typically working 10-hour shifts, added Sgt. Liz Checke of the Los Altos Police Department.

The enforcement campaign is named for the California Highway Patrol officer who died Aug. 10, 2018, after a distracted pickup driver crashed into his motorcycle during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near the Manuel Campos Parkway in Fairfield. In addition to Griess, 46, the accident killed Jaime Bueza Manuel, 49, of Vallejo, the driver of the SUV Griess had stopped. Pickup driver Sean Matthew Walker of Rocklin faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter. He is accused of causing the crash by using his cellphone while driving at a high rate of speed.

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