Police launch extra cell phone enforcement patrols this week: ‘Text, talk, ticket … or worse’

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KING COUNTY -- The Washington State Patrol and police throughout King County are out to catch people using their cell phones while driving.

Officers are starting extra patrols starting Sunday as part of the "Text, talk, ticket ... or worse" campaign.

It is against state law to text or use your cell phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device.

In 2011, officials say there were 1.3 million crashes involving cell phones, which is 23-percent of all crashes.

Authorities say 1 in 5 drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving.

"Studies have shown that drivers that are texting are six times as likely to be involved in an accident and about a quarter of all crashes in kng County involve distracted driving," said Bellevue Police Officer Seth Tyler. "So we'll be out looking for drivers that are talking on their phones without a hands free device or looking down at their phones and texting."

Drivers caught using their cell phone while driving without a hands-free device face a $124 ticket.

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  • BearTex3

    Man I really hope that they do their patrols up around the Shoreline area at night where the road construction. Just about every night someone ends hitting a barrel while on their phone. Our escort WSP that we have every night out on I-5 construction area almost got run off the road while behind me when a woman driving by actually ended up merging into the WSP cars lane and almost running into the back of my 20 ton truck. Stupid. Just remember that the fines are double in the construction zone. So if you hit a barrel or drive through the closure etc. and get caught and charged with negligent driving, instead of your ticket being $550, it is now $1100. And they love writing those tickets. Oh and dont get caught passing a work truck while approaching the closure, because there is usually an unmarked WSP behind us monitoring what is going on and they will pull you over if they feel you are making a dangerous pass.

  • Steve Sugiura

    124 $, that probably gets reduced to about 25. How about making it a flat 1000.00, no pleas ? See how many people then actually pay attention to driving, rather than socializing behind the wheel of a several thousand pound weapon.

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