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.

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Keep little ghouls, goblins safe on Halloween night

October 23, 2012

City officials reminded Issaquah residents and motorists to remain on the lookout for little ghosts and goblins on Halloween, Oct. 31.

Most neighborhoods turn into haunting grounds for dozens of trick-or-treating children on Halloween night, and safety is a paramount concern for parents and police.

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Keep little ghouls, goblins safe on Halloween night

October 15, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 15, 2012

City officials reminded Issaquah residents and motorists to remain on the lookout for little ghosts and goblins on Halloween, Oct. 31.

Most neighborhoods turn into haunting grounds for dozens of trick-or-treating children on Halloween night, and safety is a paramount concern for parents and police.

Motorists need to be extra careful to watch children dressed in costumes. Many costumes can be difficult to see at night, or include visibility-limiting masks. Young trick-or-treaters — in the excitement of evening — may also forget the rules of road.

Parents can keep children safe by dressing them in costumes that fit well and have reflective tape on them. Parents should avoid masks that distort or impede vision. Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight or glow sticks. Remind children to look both ways and cross only at corners or crosswalks.

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Troopers urge traffic safety for recent graduates

June 26, 2012

Graduation at Issaquah School District high schools and elsewhere prompted the Washington State Patrol to remind teenagers to celebrate graduation safely.

Troopers urged parents to talk to teenagers about the perils of distracted driving and driving under the influence.

“I have seen my share of fatal collisions involving kids who just graduated from high school and were celebrating with their friends,” state patrol Lt. Kandi Patrick said in a statement.

In recent years, more than 1,000 fatal collisions in Washington involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 25. Police said vehicle drivers and passengers made up more than 90 percent of deaths, and 61 percent were the vehicle driver.

Statewide, more than 20 percent of deaths involving young drivers occurred in July or August between 6 p.m. on a Friday and 5:59 a.m. on a Monday. Speeding ranked as the No. 1 factor in the fatal accidents, followed by drug and alcohol impairment, and distracted driving.

Under state law, police can arrest a minor for driving under the influence if he or she has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent. The legal limit for adults 21 and older is 0.08 percent.

Police offer safety message to teenagers as graduation approaches

June 7, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 7, 2012

The approach of graduation at Issaquah School District high schools and elsewhere prompted the Washington State Patrol to remind teenagers to celebrate graduation safely.

Troopers urged parents to talk to teenagers about the perils of distracted driving and driving under the influence.

“I have seen my share of fatal collisions involving kids who just graduated from high school and were celebrating with their friends,” Lt. Kandi Patrick said.

In recent years, more than 1,000 fatal collisions in Washington involved drivers between the ages of 16 and 25. Police said vehicle drivers and passengers encompassed more than 90 percent of deaths, and 61 percent encompassed the vehicle driver.

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NASCAR driver, attorney general target teens’ texting

May 22, 2012

State Attorney General Rob McKenna and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne teamed up May 1 to warn teenagers about the dangers of texting and driving.

In order to address the problem, the National Association of Attorneys General — led by McKenna — joined a national coalition to roll out public service announcements featuring Kahne, a Washington native. The coalition also includes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.

The spots marked a nationwide Stop the Texts Day and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Watch the PSAs at www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org

Federal officials rank distracted driving as the No. 1 killer of teenagers in the United States. In 2010, more than 3,000 people died and another 416,000 sustained injuries due to texting and other forms of distracted driving.

“While teen drivers often feel invincible, the reality is that texting and driving too often leads to terrible injuries and even death,” McKenna said in a statement. “No text message is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Texting while driving should be at least as socially unacceptable as driving without a seat belt.”

Press Editorial

January 3, 2012

2012 Issaquah goals are very achievable

Each year our news staff and editorial board put their heads together to create a list of goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still on our wish list.

Environmentally speaking — Local restaurants need to step up and get compliant with the city’s mandate on use of recyclable containers. Most already have, but not all. The city should go a step further and follow Seattle’s lead in banning plastic grocery and retail bags.

Central Issaquah Plan — The plan that will act as a guideline for redevelopment of Issaquah’s business district should be completed this year. Take it one step further and implement it for new development in the highlands, too.

Park Pointe — Now that the land deal is done, the city and volunteers can transform the 100 acres on Tiger Mountain for everyone to enjoy; Issaquah Environmental Council volunteers started the process last week by planting native species.

Economic development — With the re-engineering of how City Hall functions to encourage a more robust economic development of the business community, the time has come for action. Put measurable goals in place immediately with an eye toward filling vacant storefronts.

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(Txt n Dstract)

November 29, 2011

Hall Monitor By Jasmine Shen Issaquah High School

With a rising number of social networking sites online, the importance of friendship and sociality increases at an incessant rate for teens. Most cellphone users, teenagers especially, use text messages to communicate and interact, a normal occurrence that everyone has come to recognize and understand.

But the seemingly harmless tapping of fingers on the keyboard is the also same reason for a high degree of fatalities during driving, raised to an extent where insurance companies ask for nearly double a price for younger people. Studies have shown that texting and driving impairs a driver’s abilities and is very dangerous. Yet a high number of students have few qualms regarding this, choosing to put a little too high a certainty in their abilities.

When used sparingly and in moderation, texting is not a quandary at all, and can be beneficial and entertaining. However, when teenagers are often sleep-deprived and running low on energy, it is doubtless that texting is a good method to distract oneself manually, visually and cognitively when behind the wheel, significantly heightening the risk of crashing. This is part of the reason why adults view high school students stereotypically as negligent and technology addicted.

Texting has worked its way into the daily activities of teenagers. It’s safe when one chooses it to be so. Every teen should keep in mind that the next time he or she is about to step on that gas pedal, he or she should rub his or her eyes and remind himself or herself to be focused on the task at hand.

Troopers remind motorists to wake up to drowsy driving dangers

November 8, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 8, 2011

State troopers urged motorists to wake up to the dangers of drowsy driving to launch Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

In addition to drunken driving and distracted driving, drowsy driving can cause devastating effects on Washington roadways.

In 2010, drowsy driving caused 17 deaths and 74 seriously injured motorists in Washington. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents nationwide each year.

“It always breaks my heart to hear that someone was killed or injured because a driver fell asleep at the wheel; these are totally preventable deaths and collisions,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week runs through Saturday.

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Troopers cite 370 motorists for cellphone infractions

October 25, 2011

Washington State Patrol troopers stopped almost 400 motorists for cellphone infractions last month.

Troopers continue to monitor local roads for cellphone violators.

State law changed in 2009 to make cellphone use and texting primary offenses for motorists. Before the change, law enforcement officers could only cite drivers for phone use if the driver violated the speed limit or broke another law.

In September, King County troopers stopped 370 drivers for talking on cellphones and 43 people for texting behind the wheel. The state patrol said more than half of the violators received a $124 ticket for illegal cellphone use.

The state patrol encouraged motorists not to use a cell phone behind the wheel, but if necessary, to use a hands-free device to help keep the focus on the roadway.

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