State Patrol focus on distracted driving

Starting today, Sept. 21, there will be a statewide emphasis on distracted driving that will last until Sept. 23.

  • Friday, September 21, 2018 1:36pm
  • News

The following is a press release from the Washington State Patrol.

Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers will conduct a statewide emphasis on distracted driving from Friday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 23.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, distracted driving is the cause of 30 percent of traffic fatalities and makes up 23 percent of all serious injury collisions in the state.

So far in 2018, the WSP has contacted 18,557 drivers for distracted driving. In 2017, troopers stopped 17,058 drivers.

According to RCW 46.61.672, 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.

Personal electronic devices aren’t just limited to cell phones, 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.

The WSP would like to remind all drivers that there is no call, text or update that is worth a life.

Let’s all work together to keep Washington roads safe by paying attention.

[flipp]

More in News

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

File photo
Law enforcement oversight office seeks subpoena power

Organization has been unable to investigate King County Sheriff’s Office.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources/Kari Greer
Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019

Humans cause majority of fires in state

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

Call for peace, unity, understanding

City, county and state leaders show support of Islam community in wake of massacre at New Zealand mosques

King County bail reform hinges on pretrial decision making

Data on inmates has shown that being held pretrial affects the likelihood of conviction.

State smoking age rising to 21 in 2020

Legislature approves change

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Defense Distributed’s 3D printed gun, The Liberator. Photo by Vvzvlad/Wikimedia Commons
‘Ghost gun’ bill moves to Senate committees

Legislation would make 3-D printed guns illegal.

King County Council with Sarah Reyneveld, chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board. Photo courtesy of King County
King County proclaims March as Women’s History Month

This year’s theme is Womxn Who Lead: Stories from the past and how they influence the future.