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King County police agencies issue 1,100 citations to drivers using cellphones

King County law enforcement agencies issued more than 1,100 citations over the past six weeks to drivers for the use of cellular phones.

Law enforcement agencies throughout King County have participated in emphasis patrols to reduce the number of people driving while distracted. These patrols targeted drivers that were using cellular phones, texting or involved in other behavior that affected their ability to drive in a safe manner.

One hundred and eighty drivers were ticketed for texting while driving, according to a Sept. 4 Washington State Patrol media release. Law enforcement made more than 2,300 contacts with drivers which included driver while suspended and DUI. Officers also made arrests of subjects with felony warrants and recovered two stolen vehicles.

“Despite the warnings in the media, we still found a lot of drivers without their full attention on the road,” said State Patrol Lt. Mike Rupert. “This special campaign is over but officers and troopers continue to be on the lookout for cellphone violations.”

In Washington State, drivers are prohibited from texting or talking on their cellular phones without the use of hands-free device. The fine for this violation is $124 but could be increased in the case of a traffic collision. Any drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use any cellular phone device.

Extra patrols were funded by grants from King County Emergency Medical Services and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission with the coordination of the King County Target Zero Task Force.

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