MOSES LAKE - It was another busy afternoon for officers taking part in high visibility emphasis patrols Wednesday in Moses Lake as distracted driving and seatbelt violations piled up.
The four-hour patrols along West Broadway Avenue, which included a plain-clothed deputy calling out violations to waiting officers down the road, led to 145 traffic stops and 119 infractions issued.
Among the violations were 63 tickets for using an electronic device while driving and 36 for no seatbelt use.
“Distracted driving and no seatbelt use are the top factors in fatal crashes in Grant County,” stated Grant County Sgt. Josh Sainsbury. “We know that the majority of drivers in Grant County don’t drive distracted and wear their seatbelts and we are incredibly thankful for them. However, we are really concerned with the number of violations observed during the WTSC (Washington Traffic Safety Commission) funded emphasis patrol. Our law enforcement and the community expects our drivers to drive safely and following the law, as community members ourselves, it puts us all at unease when we hear of disregard like we saw last night.”
Similar emphasis patrols in Quincy last month showed similar trends: distracted driving, including using an electronic device, and not wearing a seatbelt were the most common reasons for traffic stops.
“It’s clear that WTSC and local law enforcement have some work to do with education and enforcement of distracted drivers and seatbelt/child restraint usage,” stated Target Zero Manager Alison Mitchell. “We truly want to create a culture of health within our communities, and we need everyone’s help in doing that. Choose to buckle up every trip, every time, and put your phone away or on do not disturb when you are driving. No text, post, or photo is worth losing your life or taking the life of another, and neither violation is worth getting a ticket for. I’m really proud of the hard work that our officers put in last night during this emphasis; their work every day really does make a difference in changing driving behaviors to keep not only ‘your’ but ‘our’ communities and roadways safe.”
Infractions issued during Moses Lake emphasis patrols:
- Using electronic device: 63 (8 warnings)
- No insurance: 4 (7 warnings)
- Other moving violation: 1
- Other non-moving violation: 3
- No valid operator’s license: 2
- No seatbelt use: 36 (5 warnings)
- Seatbelt misuse: 1
- Child car seat violations: 9 (2 warnings)
- Equipment violations: 4 warnings
Along with the traffic citations, criminal offenses found during the patrols included driving with a suspended license (3), felony arrest warrants (1) and misdemeanor arrests (1).