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Photo via Wikipedia/ Seattle Police by Matthew Zalewski
Photo via Wikipedia/ Seattle Police by Matthew Zalewski

In case you needed just one more reason to get off your cell phone while driving, here’s a good one: Seattle and other area police departments are specifically looking for drivers on their phones over the next couple weeks.

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(Note: The data provided by Seattle Municipal Court includes citations for both city ordinances and state statues. Since a vast majority of the tickets were issued using city laws, especially in more recent years, we combined the data to get a more complete picture.)

According to King 5, the distracted driving patrols will be in full force through June 13. Drivers caught talking on phones without a hands-free device are subject to a $124 fine.

As GeekWire reported earlier this year, the number of incidents in Seattle involving talking while driving is going up.

Everyone should know that talking and driving is dangerous, but King 5 also reports some alarming statistics to support the ban: The Washington Safety Commission has found that 24 percent of all traffic deaths are from distracted drivers (this can include eating, messing with the radio, etc., in addition to talking or texting).

King 5 also cites this University of Utah study, in which they found that cell phone talkers are as dangerous as drunks, and “motorists who write text messages while driving are six times more likely to crash than those who don’t text while driving.”

So, a gentle reminder, when you get behind the wheel, put the phone away.

Previously on GeekWire: Seattle police bust record number of drivers for talking on cell phones

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