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Distracted driving, E-DUI
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Data from first 2 weeks under Washington’s distracted driving law

Jason Rantz urges law enforcement not to do patrol emphasis on distracted driving. (File, Associated Press)

Two weeks after Washington state’s tough new distracted driving law kicked in and the Washington State Patrol is out with some early data.

Check traffic conditions before you start driving

In the first week, the law was in effect, troopers stopped 337 drivers for distracted driving. They gave 306 verbal warnings, four written warnings, and 27 citations.

Compare that to 273 stops, 118 citations, and 155 warnings the week before the law went into effect.

While the State Patrol is giving a six month grace period — focusing more on educating drivers than ticketing them — it says it will issue tickets to drivers who’ve already been warned, as well as those they see breaking the distracted driving law and exhibiting other dangerous driving behaviors.

Last year, Washington state troopers made 16,884 stops related to distracted driving. They wrote 7,941 citations. More than 8,800 warnings were given.

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