Stuck In A Backup? WSP Suspects Drivers Who Text! - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Stuck In A Backup? WSP Suspects Drivers Who Text!

Photo courtesy: MGN Online Photo courtesy: MGN Online

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol is beginning to suspect that many of the collisions which cause traffic backups and delays are caused by people who are texting and driving at relatively low speeds. Those backups impede traffic, frustrate other drivers, and impact the state's economy by interfering with freight mobility.  

"You and I are sitting in traffic, going nowhere, because someone ahead of us was texting," said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. "We think texting is a factor in far more of these minor collisions than we'll ever be able to prove."  

Today's guidance is a departure from the State Patrol's historic practice of offering advice only when they have objective data. The Patrol knows with great certainty the number of people killed by speeding, impaired driving or the failure to wear a seat belt.  

Not so with texting-while-driving in collisions which cause only minor property damage. Traffic violations that lead to minor collisions are civil infractions, not crimes.   "We do not have the legal authority to get search warrants for cell phone records in cases of minor collisions," Batiste said. "Our priority in those cases is to get traffic moving again."  

Batiste said that texting while driving is risky behavior, regardless of your speed. He urged drivers to put down their phones, period. State Troopers cited over 1,000 drivers last year for texting at the wheel. 

Over 6,600 drivers were cited for talking on their cell phones without using a hands free device.  The fine for any cell phone violation is $124. 

If the traffic violation results in a collision, additional fees could be added.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • UPDATE: Firefighters say fire burning near Sacred Heart is suspicious

    UPDATE: Firefighters say fire burning near Sacred Heart is suspicious

    Saturday, November 17 2018 3:04 AM EST2018-11-17 08:04:06 GMT

    Spokane firefighters are on the scene of a fire at a five-story garage that's under construction near Sacred Heart on the South Hill.

    >>

    Spokane firefighters are on the scene of a fire at a five-story garage that's under construction near Sacred Heart on the South Hill.

    >>
  • Lynnwood man who raped dying woman gets less than 3 years in prison

    Lynnwood man who raped dying woman gets less than 3 years in prison

    Friday, November 16 2018 9:45 AM EST2018-11-16 14:45:19 GMT

    LYNNWOOD, Wash. - A 20-year-old Washington state man has been sentenced to less than three years in prison for raping a high school student as she died from a drug overdose and texting semi-nude photos of her. The Daily Herald reports that Brian Varela pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape, and unlawful disposal of remains as part of a plea deal in the February death of 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda.   

    >>

    LYNNWOOD, Wash. - A 20-year-old Washington state man has been sentenced to less than three years in prison for raping a high school student as she died from a drug overdose and texting semi-nude photos of her. The Daily Herald reports that Brian Varela pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape, and unlawful disposal of remains as part of a plea deal in the February death of 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda.    

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Disney reveals details of "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" attractions

    Disney reveals details of "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" attractions

    Saturday, November 17 2018 4:46 PM EST2018-11-17 21:46:55 GMT

    "Star Wars" fans will soon be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon and face off against Kylo Ren in battle. Disney on Saturday announced some details of the new "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" lands, opening in 2019. It also announced that composer John Williams, creator of the classic "Star Wars" themes, is writing new music for the "Galaxy's Edge" attractions, and shared a sneak preview. 

    >>

    "Star Wars" fans will soon be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon and face off against Kylo Ren in battle. Disney on Saturday announced some details of the new "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" lands, opening in 2019. It also announced that composer John Williams, creator of the classic "Star Wars" themes, is writing new music for the "Galaxy's Edge" attractions, and shared a sneak preview. 

    >>
  • Spokane's Ice Ribbon opens for the season

    Spokane's Ice Ribbon opens for the season

    Saturday, November 17 2018 4:41 PM EST2018-11-17 21:41:55 GMT

    Spokane,Wash. Skaters of all ages stepped onto the ice ribbon early Saturday morning to get the first strides in of the season. It's the second year the ice ribbon has been opened but last year the season was cut short after the system that keeps the ice at a crisp 12 degrees Fahrenheit failed. It ended up cutting the season short by a month "We repaired all those systems. It was under warranty as part of new construction. We replaced the ammonia surge tank which cause...

    >>

    Spokane,Wash. Skaters of all ages stepped onto the ice ribbon early Saturday morning to get the first strides in of the season. It's the second year the ice ribbon has been opened but last year the season was cut short after the system that keeps the ice at a crisp 12 degrees Fahrenheit failed. It ended up cutting the season short by a month "We repaired all those systems. It was under warranty as part of new construction. We replaced the ammonia surge tank which cause...

    >>
  • Three Montana deer test positive for brain wasting disease

    Three Montana deer test positive for brain wasting disease

    Saturday, November 17 2018 4:12 PM EST2018-11-17 21:12:49 GMT

    Montana wildlife officials say three deer in Blaine County have tested positive for a brain wasting disease. The Great Falls Tribune reports that the deer found to have chronic wasting disease were all harvested within a priority surveillance area. 

    >>

    Montana wildlife officials say three deer in Blaine County have tested positive for a brain wasting disease. The Great Falls Tribune reports that the deer found to have chronic wasting disease were all harvested within a priority surveillance area. 

    >>