Opinion

Time to ticket drivers who text or talk | Editorial

The “Click it or Ticket” program is returning to the Bellevue area starting Monday.

The law enforcement program targets both unbuckled drivers and those distracted because they are talking or texting on their cell phones while driving. Most cities in King County, along with the State Patrol, are taking part.

Safe drivers everywhere should cheer.

Distracted drivers are everywhere — and easy to spot.

n It’s the bozo in their car still sitting at the stoplight long after it has turned green.

n It is the driver who’s car wanders back and forth in the road, occasionally hitting the lane-divider buttons — an accident just waiting to happen.

n It’s the person in a fast-food drive-thru line, oblivious to the fact everyone in front of them has placed their orders and moved on.

n It’s the person whose disregard for the law causes an accident that at best damages cars and at worst could be deadly to themselves or others.

The “Handheld Cell Phone Use” law became a primary law in Washington in June 2010. That means the police can cite a person for that without seeing some other violation first.

Traffic safety officials say that prior to that law taking effect, on average, 700 drivers were cited for cell phone use per month statewide. After the law went into effect, the number of motorists cited for cell phone use increased and has stayed consistent at approximately 4,000 per month.

Those are only the ones caught. Stand on the corner of a busy intersection for a few minutes and you’ll be convinced the number of violators is far higher.

There’s rarely a legitimate reason to be talking or texting on a cell phone when behind the wheel of a car. For those who believe the law doesn’t apply to them, let’s hope the flashing red and blue lights they see in their rear-view mirror convinces them otherwise.

Go get ‘em, officer. We support you 100 percent.

 

— Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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