Washington State Patrol to crack down on distracted drivers Sept. 21-23

Emphasis patrols statewide

  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:39am
  • News

Washington State Patrol troopers will conduct a statewide emphasis on distracted driving from Friday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 23, according to a State Patrol press release.

Distracted driving is the cause of 30 percent of traffic fatalities and makes up 23 percent of all serious injury collisions in the state, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. So far in 2018, the State Patrol has contacted 18,557 drivers for distracted driving. In 2017, troopers stopped 17,058 drivers.

Drivers are prohibited from using a personal electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway – which includes when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light, according to RCW 46.61.672. Personal electronic devices aren’t just limited to cellphones, but also includes laptop, tablets, gaming devices, etc. A driver is only allowed the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function on the device. However, drivers are allowed to use their phones if:

• It’s hands-free and can be started by using a single touch or swipe of a finger

• You are parked or stopped out of the flow of traffic and safely off the roadway

• Calling 911

The penalty for distracted driving is a $136 citation for the first offense. If you’re issued another citation within five years, the penalty raises to at least $234. Additionally, each offense is reported to your insurance companies.

Drivers can also be penalized for a secondary violation of dangerously distracted under RCW 46.61.673. Drivers can receive an additional $99 penalty for being dangerously distracted if a driver commits a traffic violation because they were distracted.

More in News

Storm-torn tree crashes into apartment building, injuring man

Strong rain and wind blew through the area early Sunday morning, damaging… Continue reading

PNW plant-based foods could help in climate fight

Animal products create a lot of emissions, but veggie alternatives are coming from King County.

The Colstrip Power Plant in Montana. Puget Sound Energy owns 25 percent of the remaining two units. File photo
PSE files to sell part of Colstrip coal plant

The utility owns two units at the Montana power plant.

Fentanyl (Courtesy photo)
Fentanyl overdoses keep increasing in King County

Meth overdoses are on the rise as well, continuing a trend reported on last year.

Charter review could overhaul King County Sheriff’s Office

Several changes to the King County Sheriff’s Office were proposed.

Riverbend Driving Range improvements continuing in Kent

City awards contract for new parking lot, sidewalks, landscaping

Free recycling collection event set for March 7 in Kent

Dispose of appliances, batteries, mattresses, etc.

The language of the original bill prohibited privately-owned detainment facilities from being contracted by local, state, or federal government entities, but a last-second amendment was adopted to substantially narrow the focus of the legislation. File photo
Lawmakers flinch on banning for-profit detention facilities

Last minute amendment exempted ICE detainment facility.

Most Read