WASHINGTON STATE - In order to address the increasing issue of distracted driving, Washington State Patrol, along with county sheriff's offices, and local police, will be teaming up to enforce the Distracted Driving Program which started April 1st through April 19th.
"We always patrol for distracted driving but the difference here is we will be having more officers patrolling the streets to focus on decreasing distracted driving." says state Trooper Daniel Mosqueda.
Program Manager Erika Mascorro stated that in 2019, the distracted driving rate increased from 6.8 percent to 9.4 percent in 2020. This equaled every 1 in 5 drivers were distracted.
"We know that about 30% of fatal traffic collisions in the state of Washington are because of distracted driving," said Trooper Thorson.
In 2020, according to Mascorro, distracted driving enforcement was at historically low levels. Now, with an extra focus on this campaign, state authorities are working to make the number of distracted drivers go down to zero.
"Distracted driving doesn't just include being on your phone. It can also be playing with the radio, looking at your phone at intersections, talking with people on Bluetooth, and eating while driving." says Thorson.
Both Troopers want to remind everyone to be as safe as possible while driving, having both eyes on the road at all times, and both hands on the steering wheel. If you are pulled over and cited, a ticket for distracted driving is $136.