Key Messages


These materials will help you understand key messages surrounding Target Zero.




“U Text U Drive U Pay” is the message we’re sending to distracted drivers during April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month.” 

Law Enforcement is deploying extra patrols and will be ticketing motorists who are illegally using cell phones behind the wheel. 

Using a cell phone while driving is the riskiest type of distraction.  Deaths from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015 in Washington. 

The goal is to raise greater public awareness about the serious risks of cell phone use while driving.

WTSC is also launching a public service advertising campaign, running a TV spot depicting the consequences of a teen texting while driving a car with her friends.  You can view the spot at and learn more about the issue of distracted driving.


  • Nearly 150 law enforcement agencies will participate in this years distracted driving High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) week.

  • Law enforcement, including the police departments of local communities, county sheriff’s offices as well as the Washington State Patrol, will conduct extra patrols looking for motorists breaking Washington’s current cell phone law during a High Visibility Enforcement period from April 3-16.

  • The High Visibility Enforcement week was launched as part of the Target Zero initiative in 2014.  Target Zero is a statewide initiative to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways to zero by the year 2030.
  • The fine for texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving is $136. 
  • In 2014 the citations for illegal phone use while driving increased by 197 percent (the last year for which data is available). 
  • It is important for drivers to know they can be cited any time of the year for illegal phone use while driving.  More than 2,000 tickets just for cell phone use were issued in November of 2014. 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

  • Distracted driving fatalities in Washington increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015.
  • Cell phone use is a major contributing factor for fatalities and crash risk.  Research shows that cell phone use is more highly predictive of poor driving performance than any other type of distraction.

  • 26 percent of crashes involve phone distraction.
  • Drivers are three to four times more likely to be in a crash when talking on a phone.  Hands free is not safer than hand held use.
  • Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash when entering information into a phone.
  • Cell phone use causes “inattention blindness” and it can take drivers up to 27 seconds to refocus on the road after using a cell phone while driving.
  • Education, enforcement and personal responsibility are all part of the solution needed to reduce distracted driving and move us to zero fatalities by 2030, our Target Zero goal.