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Coursey: A scary number of scary drivers

Here's a scary number: 80.

That's how many drivers were cited in a single day this week during a crackdown on distracted driving by the Petaluma Police Department.

Eighty drivers. In a single day. In Petaluma.

Let's put on our math hats (always a risky proposition for a journalism major) and extrapolate. If 80 drivers were simultaneously operating both their cell phones and their vehicles on Wednesday in Petaluma, a city of about 58,000, then it's a safe bet that in Santa Rosa, a city of 169,000, the cops could have found about 230 distracted drivers on the same day. Or, among Sonoma County's total population of 487,000, more than 670 drivers could have been cited for paying attention to their phones when they should have been paying attention to the road.

And that's just based on the ones who got caught. How many more do you want to bet were out there doing the same thing on Wednesday. Five times as many? Ten? A hundred?


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