WSP: Driving While Texting Causes Problems

By Jamala Henderson and Derek Wang

Stop texting and driving. That’s the message from the Washington State Patrol.

Authorities say they suspect that many minor low speed collisions are caused by drivers who are texting.

Jason Hicks is a sergeant with the state Patrol.

Hicks: “And if you just look around you while you’re in your own car, you’ll notice several other people on their phones while they’re in these lower speed congested areas. We believe it’s giving people a sense of false security that at 20 mph it’s ok to look at my phone and read this text message or to send this text message.”

Hicks says the low speed crashes can cause traffic backups. And that unnecessarily slows down roads for everyone.

Still, the state patrol admits that it doesn’t have data on how many collisions are caused by drivers who are texting. They say they’re basing their claim on what they’ve seen.

If you text and drive you could be fined $124 . More than 1,000 people were cited last year for texting while driving.

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