HESPERIA — Nearly 200 tickets were issued by local San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies during a distracted driving enforcement over the span of two weeks.

Deputies wrote 194 tickets to distracted drivers, sheriff’s officials said. The enforcement was part of an ongoing crackdown where undercover units are being used to spot people using cellphones in Hesperia.

“Through enforcement efforts like these, we hope to educate our citizens on the dangers of driving distracted and lower the amount of traffic collisions in our city,” sheriff’s officials said in a statement. “Put away or turn off the distractions. There are several phone applications that can assist you with not using your phone while driving and help you arrive alive.

"With just a click of a button before you start to drive some applications will respond to your incoming text and cell calls with a message saying you are driving and will get back to them. Others will automatically enter this mode when your vehicle hits a certain mph.”

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show the amount of injuries or deaths caused by distracted driving is “increasing at alarming rates.” The NHTSA reported 3,179 deaths and 431,000 injury collisions associated with distracted driving nationwide. Cellphone usage or texting while driving appears to be one of the top contributors, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials say nationwide efforts to educate about drinking and driving have slowly driven down the number of DUI deaths of the years and hope to see similar results with distracted driving education efforts.

Authorities remind motorists that distracted driving and illegal cellphone usage laws apply while stopped at a red lights or stop sign.

Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-955-5332 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DD_JQuintero.