In Pursuit of Unbuckled AND Distracted Drivers

“Click it or Ticket” Patrols Take on Texters and Talkers

This is one sample of news releases customized by county throughout the state.

SPOKANE, WHITMAN, PEND OREILLE, AND FERRY COUNTIES, WA – 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 Spokane, Whitman, Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties 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 statewide 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.

In Spokane, Whitman, Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties, the Cheney, City of Airway Heights, Colfax, Eastern Washington University, Pullman, Republic, Spokane, Spokane Valley and Washington State University Police Departments, the Ferry, Pend Oreille, Spokane and Whitman County Sheriff’s Offices as well as the Washington State Patrol will be teaming up and participating in these extra patrols, with the support of the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force.

These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.

“These programs are one reason that Washington State is a national leader in traffic safety,” says WSTC Commissioner and Spokane City Councilmember Jon Snyder. “The goal of Target Zero is to eventually eliminate traffic deaths in our state.”

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