Bonney Lake Police Department will enforce a zero tolerance policy on cell phone violations during the month of November. It is illegal in the state of Washington to text or talk without a hands free device while operating a motor vehicle. The traffic infraction is punishable by a fine of $124.
During a similar patrol emphasis in April, the department issued 101 cell phone violation tickets. During periods of other emphasis, approximately five tickets are doled out monthly.
Many collisions in the area have been linked to drivers distracted by cellular devices while they should be paying attention to the road, according to Todd Green, a Bonney Lake police officer.
“Our goal is to increase safety on the roadways by enforcing this violation in hopes to keep drivers fully focused on the road while operating a vehicle,” he said.
Sumner Police Department isn’t participating in the cell phone emphasis patrol, according to Deputy Chief Jeff Engel. However, officers are still encouraged to look for distracted drivers and give out reminders and/or infractions accordingly.
“We want to make sure drivers concentrate on what they should be doing and that’s driving,” said Engel. “It’s for their own safety, as well as the safety of others who may cross their path.”
Texting and driving doubles the risk of a collision, according to Distraction.gov, the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving. Texting is particularly dangerous because it employs visual, manual and cognitive distraction, according to the website.
For more information about the dangers and statistics of distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.