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PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Pasadena police Monday will crackdown on drivers who are texting or operating a handheld cellphone behind the wheel.

Officials are expected to issue citations in an effort to educate the community about the dangers of cellphone use while driving, according to Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez.

A cellphone violation costs motorists $161, while a subsequent violation is $285.

“We all know that talking on our cellphones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop some people from continuing to do it,” Sanchez told City News Service. “We hope people realize the danger involved and change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families and others on the road.”

Police say drivers should put cellphones out of reach or turn them off while behind the wheel.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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