This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
The figures are in from last month’s distracted driver emphasis patrols, and the verdict is: Plenty of us are, indeed, driving distracted.
During the week of May 20, patrols in many communities statewide focused on pulling over drivers who were illegally using handheld cellphones or texting. They nabbed 1,448, compared with 1,059 in 2012 — a 36 percent increase. If drivers are at all intimidated by the prospect of a $124 ticket, it’s not showing.
Here’s a hero of the emphasis patrols: the Gig Harbor police officer who single-handedly ticketed 101 of the 139 drivers the department caught using their cellphones.
Another shout-out to the Puyallup Police Department, which employed a tag-team approach on busy Meridian Avenue. One officer on the street served as a spotter, alerting another to make the stop and issue the ticket. In the first two days of the department’s three-day emphasis patrol, 79 tickets were issued for texting or talking on handheld phones. Read more »