Washington has one of the highest seat belt use rates in the country due in large part to its highly visible “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which includes publicity, extra enforcement and signage. In June of 2002, when the primary seat belt law went into effect, approximately 82 percent of Washington drivers wore seat belts. Today, nearly 97 percent of Washington drivers are buckling up. Now, “Click It or Ticket” is focusing on another important traffic safety concern — distracted drivers who are texting and talking on their cell phones.
Between May 20 and June 2, motorists in Snohomish County can expect to see law enforcement patrolling city and county roads in search of unbuckled drivers and passengers, as well as drivers using their cell phones. Last year during this same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols statewide issued 3,171 seat belt violations amongst the 11,047 motorists who were stopped. Likewise, 1,059 cell phone violations were written last year during this time period, whereas in 2010, the same year cell phone use became a primary law in Washington, only 63 drivers were cited statewide.
In Snohomish County, the Marysville, Everett, Edmonds and Lynnwood police departments will be teaming the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol to participate in these extra patrols, with the support of the Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force. These and all other extra patrols are part of Target Zero, which is striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.