Put Down The Phone, Police Looking For Distracted Drivers Starting Veteran’s Day
Starting Friday November 11, and continuing up through the Thanksgiving Holiday, all local, regional and state law enforcement agencies are going to be launching emphasis patrols, looking actively for distracted drivers.
Officers, since the banning of cellphones behind the wheel few years ago, have been given special training to help spot drivers who're multitasking behind the wheel.
Besides the obvious hand to the ear with a phone, officials say distracted driving also has obvious signs on the road. Officers look for drivers who keep looking up and down, because their phone's on their lap trying to hide it. They also look for vehicles that drift periodically, then yank back into their lane of travel.
They also pay attention to vehicles that sit for more than a few seconds when traffic lights turn green. There are other signs they spot as well.
According to our News Partner KNDU-TV, a 2013 study shows that distracted driving can produce many of the same end results as intoxicated driving. While a driver isn't under the influence, not paying attention to the road can result in accidents and other mishaps because drivers can't react fast enough.
The study also says drivers who are texting while driving are 23 times more likely to get in an accident, especially rear-ending another vehicle. The study also said one out of every ten Washington drivers admitted using a cellphone or other device while behind the wheel and moving.
And if caught, it will cost you. While it's NOT considered a moving violation, such as running a red light, or speeding, if you receive a cellphone use ticket, it's $124 according to the Washington State Department of Licensing.
If a motorist is performing actions like the guy in our picture, the fines can be even higher.