WSP hands out over 100 traffic citations during Friday night emphasis patrol

WSP hands out over 100 traffic citations during Friday night emphasis patrol

Over 100 Tri-Cities drivers were cited Friday night during a multi-agency emphasis patrol.

Washington State Patrol along with three other agencies set up at the intersection of W Clearwater Ave and SR 395. Ten officers were on traffic safety overtime from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During that time, 136 drivers in total were cited. Around 120 were for the state’s newest distracted driving law while the remaining were for seatbelt violations.

“Tickets were not our goal,” Trooper Chris Thorson said. “Our main goal is to bring awareness to the issue of distracted driving and how collision numbers are rising in Washington state.”

The state’s distracted driving law gives officers the ability to cite drivers for texting and/or talking on the phone, even if you’re at a red light. Drivers can also receive a citation for other distracted driving practices like putting on makeup or eating.

The first distracted driving citation will cost drivers $136. The second ticket within five years will cost $234.