According to a report from the Seattle Times, Brian J. Wilson, Police Chief of Federal Way, was in a minor car accident in his unmarked police car because he was checking his BlackBerry device at the time. The car accident in Washington happened at the intersection of South 324th Street and Pacific Highway South in Federal Way on March 18. Pacific Highway South is part of State Route 99.
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The article states that Wilson was stopped at a red light when he checked his BlackBerry. He then let off the brake and hit the car stopped ahead of him, due to driver distraction.
Wilson has issued an apology, and was given a verbal reprimand. However, he will not be ticketed or formally reprimanded. This is due to a city policy which does not hold officers responsible for accidents with less than $700 in damage. Many people believe that the Washington State Law forbidding text messaging while driving should apply to everyone, though there is an exemption for emergency vehicles.
Driver distraction is estimated to cause 25-30 percent of all police-reported car accidents which means 1.2 million accidents a year. Cell phone usage and text messaging has been an increasing problems in the past five years. Last year, Washington State enacted two vehicle codes which regulates using a wireless communications device while driving (RCW 46.61.667) and sending, reading or writing a text message while driving (RCW 46.61.668).
If you believe your car accident was caused by another driver’s use of cell phone, text messaging, or other wireless device, call the top personal injury attorneys in Seattle at Bernard Law Group. If you are seriously injured due to an accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call Bernard Law Group at 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.