[6/20/19] Distracted Driving Emphasis

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Washington State Patrol will conduct a statewide emphasis on distracted driving this weekend. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission lists distracted driving as the cause of 30 percent of statewide traffic fatalities, and 23 percent of all serious injury collisions. In 2018, WSP contacted over 20,000 drivers for distracted driving, 3,000 more than the previous year. The Patrol said 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. A driver is only 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 or you are parked or stopped out of the flow of traffic and safely off the roadway.