Washington distracted driving emphasis patrols start April 4

Troopers issue more than 800 tickets for E-DUI in 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State Patrols are keeping an extra eye out for distracted drivers this month.

Every April, the WSP dedicates several weeks to putting extra emphasis on cracking down on distracted drivers. That means more if you’re an avid texter in traffic, you’re much more likely to get a ticket in the next few weeks than in the past.

While distracted driving rates may be down in Washington, the WSP’s annual practice makes sure drivers put their devices away while their wheels are rolling.

Here’s a few tips on how to avoid getting a ticket for distracted driving:

Get a car mount – Mounting your phone to your car’s dashboard is the simplest solution if you still need your phone in some situations. They’re great for displaying directions and changing music without keeping your eyes off the road. You can find super cheap car mounts for sale online or in most retail stores.

“Do not disturb” mode – Most cellphones now come fitted with a “do not disturb while driving” mode, meaning no texts or notifications will come through while you drive. This mode significantly helps drivers stay off their phones, and if your phone doesn’t have this feature, consider turning it off altogether.

Stay focused – While phones are the main culprit of distracted driving, there are other ways the public could get penalized. Eating, changing the radio station, and attending to kids/pets are also forms of distracted driving, so make sure to keep your priorities straight behind the wheel, or you could face a hefty fine.

The minimum fine for distracted driving is $136 for the first offense and $234 for the second if it occurs within five years of the first. So be sure to keep that phone out of sight, out of mind for the next few weeks, otherwise you may get pulled over!

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