Drivers who text in school zones may face steep fines

Bill would double fine for motorists caught using a cellphone or device in school zone

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019 5:11pm
  • News

By Sean Harding, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

A proposed bill would double the fine for motorists caught using a cellphone in a school, playground or crosswalk speed zone to up to $234 per infraction, or up to $468 for repeat offenders.

Washington’s first law to address texting-while-driving — it also prohibited applying makeup and eating while driving — went into effect two years ago.

“One of the primary crosswalks I sit at is Mill Creek Elementary,” said Christine White, a patrol officer with the Mill Creek Police Department.

“I have seen people on their cell phones talking, texting, reading, doing other things besides actually paying attention to what is in front of them,” she said. “I’ve had to smack the side of cars, and fortunately I have a very hard ring and it gets their attention.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 individuals were killed and 391,000 were injured in distracted driving-affected accidents in 2015, although it’s not clear how many of those happened in school zones.

The bill would require one half of the fines collected to be deposited in school-zone-safety accounts.

“If we can’t keep our children safe in our communities and their schools, I don’t think there’s anything else we’re going to do in this world that’s going to matter,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek. “This is just an opportunity to keep our children safe.”

If passed, the fines go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

More in News

Scam alert: Frauds care claiming to be the Medical Commission

The Washington Medical Commission (WMC) has been alerted that scam artists are… Continue reading

Sound Transit seeks feedback on Sounder South expansion

Longer trains, adding trips under consideration on Seattle to Lakewood route

Unleash the Brilliance Parent Summit comes to Auburn High School on Feb. 8

The Unleash the Brilliance (UTB) program – committed to closing the achievement… Continue reading

Expect lane closures along Auburn Way South | UPDATES

On Thursday, Jan. 30, utility work by National Plant Services for the… Continue reading

Miss Auburn, Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen tiaras up for grabs Saturday

Seven contestants compete for the crown of Miss Auburn, and 13 vie… Continue reading

Tribute to Beauty and Duty comes to Neely Mansion

Community celebrates two anniversaries on Saturday

Volunteers making the Green River more salmon-friendly at Fenster Park

Green River Coalition student intern: ‘It’s about leaving a legacy, something to show the kids 20 years from now. Any day in the soil is a good day for me’

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

Irwin introduces legislation to create database system relating to concussion rates in high school sports

Rep. Morgan Irwin has introduced legislation to create a centralized database system… Continue reading

Most Read