Nearly 1,300 drivers ticketed for distracted driving
September 9, 2013
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 9, 2013
In the past six weeks, law enforcement agencies throughout King County have participated in emphasis patrols to reduce the number of people driving while distracted.
The patrols targeted drivers using cellular phones, texting or involved in other behavior that affected their ability to drive in a safe manner.
More than 1,100 citations were issued to drivers for the use of cellphones and 180 drivers were ticketed for texting while driving. Law enforcement made more than 2,300 contacts with drivers, which included driving while suspended and DUI. Officers also made arrests of subjects with felony warrants, and recovered two stolen vehicles.
“Despite the warnings in the media, we still found a lot of drivers without their full attention on the road,” Lt. Mike Rupert, of the Washington State Patrol, said in a news release. “This special campaign is over, but officers and troopers continue to be on the lookout for cellphone violations.”
In Washington state, drivers are prohibited from texting or talking on cellphones without the use of hands-free device. The fine for the violation is $124 but could be increased in the case of a collision. Drivers younger than 18 are not allowed to use any cellphone device.
Extra patrols were funded by grants from King County Emergency Medical Services and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission with the coordination of the King County Target Zero Task Force.