Police say Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke was making a work-related phone call when he collided with a vehicle that came to an abrupt stop ahead of him on Highway 99.
The couple in the car was not hurt, and police who arrived on the scene ticketed the officer for driving without due care and attention.
Legislation that makes it illegal for the public to talk on a cell phone while driving has an exemption for police, fire and ambulance personnel who may need to make calls as part of their duties.
Lemcke says there's "no excuse" for his mistake, and he urges other drivers to stay focused while on the road or suffer the same "consequences of inattention."
The incident occurred on Jan. 4, as the officer was driving home about 5 p.m.
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