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News / Clark County News

Clark County law enforcement plan extra patrols in April amid distracted driving jump

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: April 1, 2021, 5:56am

The state’s Traffic Safety Commission announced Wednesday an increase in enforcement patrols in Clark County amid a surge of distracted driving.

Starting today, law enforcement agencies statewide will add patrols looking for people who are using their electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers can be issued a “dangerously distracted” citation for committing other traffic violations due to any type of distraction.

According to the commission’s 2020 Distracted Driving Observation Survey, the statewide distracted driver rate increased from 6.8 percent in 2019 to 9.4 percent last year.

Distracted driving behavior on city streets rose from one in every 10 drivers to nearly one in every five. Driver distraction on county roads doubled. The increases included all types of driver distraction, not just handheld cellphone use, according to the survey.

Participating law enforcement agencies include the Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal police departments, as well as Washington State Patrol and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The patrols will last through April 19.

Practical steps to encourage focused driving can be found at www.togetherwegetthere.com/distracted-driving/.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter