Distracted driving is still a big problem in Washington State. And the Washington State Patrol will conduct a special statewide emphasis patrol from Friday, june 21 through Sunday, June 23. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says distracted drivers are the cause of 30% of all traffic fatalities in the state as well as the cause of 23% of all serious injury collisions.
Last year the state patrol contacted more than 20,000 drivers for distracted driving, 3,000 more people than the year before.
The penalty for distracted driving is $136 for the first offense. the second offense within five years is $234. The tickets are reported to insurance.
You can use your cell phone while driving if it's a hands-free device and can be started with a touch or swipe of a finger. And you can also use your cell phone behind the wheel when you are parked, or stopped out of the flow of traffic and safely off the road.
the emphasis patrol starts Friday and lasts through the upcoming weekend.