Police in King County will have extra patrols the road between today and Aug. 23 looking for drivers who are illegally using cellphones or texting.
“Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the main reasons for collisions on our roadways, ” according to Washington State Patrol Lt. Michael Rupert.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) notes that collisions involving distracted drivers accounted for 20 percent of all traffic deaths in King County from 2009 to 2012.
Drivers are prohibited from texting or talking on their cellular phones without the use of a hands-free device. The fine for violating the law is $124. Teens with intermediate driver licenses or learner permits may not use a wireless device at all while driving, including hands-free devices, unless they’re reporting an emergency.
The special enforcement is funded by grants from the King County Emergency Medical Services and WTSC, in coordination with the King County Target Zero Task Force.