More than 150 law enforcement agencies to target distracted drivers in emphasis patrol

More than 150 law enforcement agencies around the state are adding extra patrols to look for distracted drivers, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. 

The emphasis patrols will run from Thursday, March 28 through April 14.

The commission says it's illegal for drivers to hold cell phones, access information or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light. The fine is $136 for the first offense and $234 for the second.

Participating law enforcement agencies in King County include:

  • Algona Police Department
  • Auburn Police Department
  • Bellevue Police Department
  • Black Diamond Police Department
  • Burien Police Department
  • Covington Police Department
  • Des Moines Police Department
  • Enumclaw Police Department
  • Federal Way Police Department
  • Issaquah Police Department
  • Kenmore Police Department
  • Kent Police Department
  • Kirkland Police Department
  • Lake Forest Park Police Department
  • Maple Valley Police Department
  • Mercer Island Police Department
  • Newcastle Police Department
  • Pacific Police Department
  • Port of Seattle Police Department
  • Redmond Police Department
  • Sammamish Police Department
  • SeaTac Police Department
  • Seattle Police Department
  • Shoreline Police Department
  • Snoqualmie Police Department
  • Tukwila Police Department
  • Washington State Patrol

“As drivers, if we’re on the road, we need to be off the phone,” said Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) Target Zero Manager Annie Kirk. “Officers are looking for distracted drivers and writing tickets. Fortunately, most Washington drivers are making safe choices and keeping their hands off their phones.”

According to a 2018 observational study done by the traffic commission, hand held cell phone use while driving was down 40 percent in 2018 over 2017. King County distracted driving rates decreased from 10.2 percent to 7.0 percent, the study concludes. 

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