Submitted by Captain Monica Alexander
Government and Media Relations
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, distracted driving is the cause of 30 percent of traffic fatalities and makes up 23 percent of all serious injury collisions in the state. So far in 2018, the WSP has contacted 18,557 drivers for distracted driving. In 2017, troopers stopped 17,058 drivers. According to RCW 46.61.672, drivers are prohibited from using a personal electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway— which includes when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light. Personal electronic devices aren’t just limited to cell phones, but also includes laptop, tablets, gaming device=driver y allowed the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function on the device. However, drivers are allowed to use their phones if:
- It’s hands-free and can be started by using a single touch or swipe of a finger
- You are parked or stopped out of the flow of traffic and safely off the roadway
- Calling 911
The WSP would like to remind all drivers that there is no call, text, or update that is worth a life. Let’s all work together to keep Washington roads safe by paying attention.