Drop in Distracted Driving Collisions

Washington State’s new distracted driving law enacted July 23, 2017, resulted in an increase of distracted driver contacts and decrease in distracted driver causing collisions throughout District 8.

Overall, the seven counties served by District 8 saw distracted driver contacts increase from 494 in July 2016 to June 2017 to 573 contacts in July 2016 to June 2017. During the same time frame, the district saw distracted driver causing collisions decrease from 75 to 56.

Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties saw a decrease in distracted driver causing collisions from July 2016 to June 2017, as compared to July 2017 to June 2018. Grays Harbor was the only county that saw a decrease in the number of contacts and an increase in the number of collisions.

The 2017 law includes the primary offense of using a personal electronic device while driving ($136 for the first infraction and $234 for a second infraction within five years), as well as the secondary offense of driving dangerously distracted ($99 infraction). It is illegal for drivers to use electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops, games, or other hand-held devices while driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light. The exception is if a driver is calling 9-11, is parked or out of the flow of traffic.

Drivers are urged to use hands-free devices and can use a single touch to start a function on the device.

County July 2016 to June 2017 Contacts* July 2017 to June 2018 Contacts July 2016 to June 2017 Collisions July 2017 to June 2018 Collisions
Clallam 71 95 14 7
Grays Harbor 111 82 7 10
Jefferson 66 82 3 1
Kitsap 189 235 36 28
Mason 56 66 11 7
Pacific/Wahkiakum 1 13 4 3

* Contacts refer to traffic stops initiated by troopers, which could result in a verbal warning, written warning or
infraction.

District 8 serves Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties.