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‘Click it or Ticket’ patrols begin May 19

On the heels of the first-ever statewide distracted driving extra enforcement campaign, law enforcement officers will be out once again searching for not only unbuckled drivers but distracted drivers as part of the annual “Click it or Ticket” patrols.

In Snohomish County, during the distracted driving campaign, which ran between April 10-15, 407 cell phone and texting violations were written.

The “Handheld Cell Phone Use” law became a primary law in Washington in June 2010. Prior to that, on average, 700 drivers were cited for cell phone use per month statewide. After the law went into effect, the number of motorists cited increased and has stayed consistent at approximately 4,000 per month.

This model of high visibility enforcement has proved to change behaviors and is now being applied to distracted driving. Texting and cell phone usage are aggravating to many motorists, and remain a growing public health and traffic safety issue.

That’s why, between May 19 and June 1, motorists in Snohomish County can expect to see extra seat belt and distracted driving patrols.

Last year during this same time period, officers on extra patrols statewide issued 2,963 seat belt violations out of the 11,666 motorists who were stopped, and 1,897 cell phone and texting violations were written. In 2010, when the primary law went into effect, only 63 drivers were cited statewide during that same time of the year.

Although Snohomish County law enforcement maintains a zero tolerance policy for non-seat belt use and distracted driving, the Marysville, Everett, Edmonds and Lynnwood police Departments, as well as the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol, will be teaming up and participating in these extra patrols, with the support of the Snohomish County DUI & Target Zero Traffic Safety Task Force.

For more information, log onto www.targetzero.com or the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s website at www.wtsc.wa.gov.

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