Ever wonder why Washington has one of the highest seat belt use rates in the country? It is due, in large part, to the highly visible “Click It or Ticket” campaign which includes publicity, extra enforcement, and signage. In June 2002, when the primary seat belt law went into effect, approximately 82 percent of Washington drivers wore seat belts and today, nearly 97 percent of Washington drivers are buckling up. Now, it’s time to focus 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 Washington can expect to see law enforcement patrolling city and county roads in search of unbuckled drivers and passengers and drivers using their cell phones.
Last year, during this same time period, officers on routine and extra patrols issued 3,171 seat belt violations amongst the 11,047 motorists who were stopped.
Similarly, last year during this time period, 1,059 cell phone violations were written. However, taking a historical look, in 2010, (the same year cell phone use became a primary law in Washington), only 63 drivers were cited statewide.
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The good news? Since nearly 97% of all Washingtonians wear their seat belts, most people don’t need to give these patrols a second thought. Generally, drivers who are unlicensed, uninsured, speeding, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are the ones most likely to not wear their seat belts at night. Unfortunately, this small group of people are involved in a majority of crashes causing death, injury, and needless expense. Click It Or Ticket.