Extra police patrols are out in search of unbuckled and distracted drivers
May 24, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. May 24, 2014
On the heels of the first statewide distracted driving extra enforcement campaign, law enforcement officers will be out once again searching for not only unbuckled drivers but distracted drivers as part of the annual “Click it or Ticket” patrols.
Through June 1, motorists in King County can expect to see extra seat belt and distracted driving patrols. Last year, during this same time period, officers on extra patrols statewide issued 2,963 seat belt violations among the 11,666 motorists who were stopped.
In King County, during the recent distracted driving campaign, which took place between April 10 and 15, 836 cellphone and texting violations were written. The “Handheld Cell Phone Use” law became a primary law in Washington in June 2010.
Prior to that law taking effect, on average, 700 drivers were cited for cellphone use per month statewide. After the law went into effect, the number of motorists cited for cellphone use increased and has stayed consistent at approximately 4,000 per month.
Likewise, after the primary seat belt law took effect in June 2002, seat belt violations initially increased and then the seat belt use rate increased. This model of high visibility enforcement has proven to change behaviors and is now being applied to distracted driving. Texting and cellphone usage is aggravating to many motorists and it remains a growing public health and traffic safety issue.
In King County, the Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Port of Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Tukwila and Woodinville Police Departments as well as the Washington State Patrolwill team up and participate in these extra patrols, with the support of the King County Target Zero Task Force. These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero — striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.