Seattle-area police join with law enforcement across the country to help curb the dangerous practice of distracted driving across the region.

King County Police Crack Down on Distracted Driving in April

Posted on Apr 26, 2014

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month across the country, and polices authorities nationwide have placed a high priority on reducing dangerous driving habits on America’s roadways.

There is no exception here in Seattle. Police across the city and throughout the neighboring suburbs are hoping that their efforts will help prevent preventable auto crashes from happening.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, more than 3,300 people were killed in distracted-driving related crashes in 2012 alone. In King County, the statistics showed that distracted driving caused at least 20 percent of all traffic fatalities. One of the biggest contributors to these crashes involves cell phone use.

Texting while driving, talking on the phone, and video recording are a few of the dangerous distractions that cell phones provide. In Washington, there are three laws in place designed to help limit crashes caused by cell phones. They include: a ban on all handheld devices for all drivers, a ban on all cell phone use (both handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers, and a texting ban for all drivers as well.

Bellevue Police officer Seth Tyler reported that during the first week of April, a t-bone accident occurred because a driver ran a red light while talking on a phone. Tyler also stated that, during his lunch hour patrol, it takes him an average of about two minutes to spot a driver on the phone.

One recent study released by the University of Washington reported that one in 10 drivers uses a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Motorists caught using a cell phone illegally while driving in King County face fines at a minimum of $124. If the driver causes a crash, that fine could be higher.

During this month’s distracted driving campaign, the theme is, “You drive, you text, you pay.”

Using “high visibility enforcement,” police hope that an increase in traffic citations may help to curb the dangerous practice around the region.

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