Two weeks after the law took effect, here are the results.
Earlier this evening, the Washington State Patrol released statistics for the first week the Distracted Driving Law has been in effect. The law went into effect Sunday, July 23, 2017. Here are the results:
Sun., July 23 to Sat., July 29, 2017
Written Warnings: 4
Verbal Warnings: 306
Sun., July 16 to Sat., July 22, 2017 (the week prior to the law going into effect)
Written Warnings: 0
Verbal Warnings: 155
In 2016, Washington State Patrol Troopers enforced the cell phone handheld and cell phone texting laws. Those laws have been replaced with the new one. Here are the statistics for 2016:
Written Warnings: 114
Verbal Warnings: 8,805
The Washington State Patrol is running a six-month grace period, meaning troopers want to educate drivers on the new law, not ticket them. However, just because there is a grace period until January, drivers aren’t getting a free pass. If troopers observe distracted driving violations, coupled with other dangerous driving behaviors, or if you’ve already received a warning about the new law, you could get a ticket.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities in Washington State caused by distracted driving increased 32 percent between 2014 to 2015.
Additional resources about the new law:
- New Distracted Driving Law Q&A
- New Distracted Driving Law: Primary vs. Secondary Offenses
- New Distracted Driving Law: Text of the New Law
[Source: Kyle Moore, Communications Director, Washington State Patrol]