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Target Zero Task Force nabs distracted drivers
The Kitsap County “Target Zero” Task Force participated in the National Distracted Driving Awareness campaign held April 10 - 15, 2014.
Participating agencies included: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and the Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo Police Departments.
This campaign was funded through an overtime grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. These high visibility enforcement patrols focused on cell phone use, texting and other distracted driving issues.
Television ads, as well as reader board messages warned drivers that law enforcement was on the lookout for distracted drivers.
In 2013, researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center found that nearly one in 10 drivers was observed using a cell phone or texting behind the wheel.
During this campaign some 35 troopers, deputies and officers worked a total of 140 overtime hours on the highways, roadways and streets of Kitsap County, making 467 contacts with drivers.
From that number 286 infractions were written, along with 16 criminal charges. The citations included 141 for cell phone usage and 13 for texting or using other electronic devices.
Additional citations included 52 for speeding, 22 for no vehicle liability insurance, 37 for seatbelt infractions and a variety of others. The criminal charges included 10 for driving while license suspended / revoked.
Twenty-one lives were lost on Kitsap County roadways during calendar year 2012. Last year that number dropped to eight.
These and all extra safety patrols are part of “Target Zero,” the Washington State plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.