Put down the phone and drive that's the message from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Program Director Erika Mascorro says more than 150 law enforcement agencies in the state including Yakima are adding extra patrols to search for distracted drivers. The emphasis patrol is set for March 28 through April 14. Mascorro says a recent observational study found drivers are putting down phones and paying attention to driving. "In 2016 and 2017 we had a 9.2 percent rate statewide of people using their phones now it's down to 8.2"
Remember it's illegal for drivers to hold cell phones, access information or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light.  Violators are charged $136 for the first offense and $234 for the second offense.
The emphasis starts tomorrow and ends April 14.

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