Increased Enforcement of Cell Phone Law

Park your phone while driving or you'll see SPD in your rearview mirror

If the safety of yourself, your passengers, and others isn’t incentive enough to park your cell phone while driving, maybe a little pink slip is. Law enforcement across the city and state are cracking down on law breakers that continue to use their phones while driving.

The Washington State Patrol issued 6,850 citations to people caught driving with hand-held cell phones to their ears last year statewide. Closer to home, the Seattle Police Department has issued 1,949 citations during that same time period. This includes 57 citations issued during a twelve hour period on Aurora Avenue North in April.

Despite being a primary offense and completely unsafe, many people are still choosing to put themselves and others at risk by talking or texting while driving. Research has clearly shown that using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of collisions. A driver who is texting while driving is as impaired as a driver with a 0.16 blood alcohol content and a driver talking on a cell phone has a four times greater likelihood of being injured in a collision. It’s just not smart to turn your attention from the road to your phone when you’re behind the wheel of 2,000+ pound automobile.

Unfortunately, inattention is the second leading contributing cause of collisions in the city of Seattle (failure to yield the right-of-way is the number one cause). This is particularly troublesome since these crashes could have been prevented if drivers simply focused on the task at hand – driving. And let’s not forget the secondary effects of crashes beyond injuries like wasted public dollars, increased insurance rates, and congestion.

We’re a very safety conscious society and parking the cell phone while driving isn’t a big deal for most of us. But for those that continue to text or talk and drive, expect a very educational pink citation and a $124 fine.

Billboard featured along Seattle streets like Aurora Ave S and Rainier Ave S