On the heels of the first-ever 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.
In Grays Harbor, during the recent distracted driving campaign in April, 47 cell phone and texting violations were written.
The “Handheld Cell Phone Use” law came into effect on June 2010. Prior to that law, on average, 700 drivers were cited for cell phone use per month statewide. After the law went into effect, the number of drivers cited increased and has stayed consistent at approximately 4,000 per month.
Likewise, after the primary seat belt law took effect in 2002, seat belt violations initially increased and then the seat belt use rate increased.
Between May 19 and June 1, motorists in Grays Harbor 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.
Last year during this time period, 1,897 cell phone and texting violations were written. However, taking a historical look, in 2010, (when the primary law went into effect) only 63 drivers were cited statewide at this time.
City police, as well as the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol, will be participating in the emphasis.
These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.