Distracted Driving Emphasis Begins Statewide - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Distracted Driving Emphasis Begins Statewide

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Here locally, police say distracted drivers often do not admit to being preoccupied with things like their cell phone, once someone else gets hurt. Here locally, police say distracted drivers often do not admit to being preoccupied with things like their cell phone, once someone else gets hurt.

WASHINGTON STATE- Did you know you are four times more likely to get into an accident, if you are talking on your phone while driving?

Kennewick Police spoke with NBC Right Now on Friday, the department is just one of the agencies in the area taking part in a statewide emphasis on distracted driving that starts this weekend.

Distracted driving is not just talking or texting on your cell phone. It is also doing your makeup, eating or drinking, reading a book, reading a map or turning around to talking to people in your backseat. Do not be surprised to see officers dedicated to looking for distracted drivers over the next nine months.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is giving extra money to departments across the state, so they can have those officers available. "When you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to get into a crash. You are putting yourself at risk, you are putting others at risk, so this is not about generating revenue for police departments or sheriff's departments, this is about making our roads safer," explained Sergeant Ken Lattin with KPD.

Not only is the fine $166.00, but if your hurt someone or take a life, the cost does not equal a dollar amount. Here locally, police say distracted drivers often do not admit to being preoccupied with things like their cell phone, once someone else gets hurt.

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