18,000 Washington drivers contacted for distracted driving

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington State troopers have made contact with at least 18,000 drivers for distracted driving so far this year.

Seattle television station KING reports that’s more people than were contacted for distracted driving in all of 2017.

A law making it illegal to use a hand-held device while driving — even while stopped at a traffic light — went into effect in July 2017. Last year troopers stopped just over 17,000 people for distracted driving.

Washington state’s distracted driving law carries a $136 fine for first-time offenders. It does allow some minimal use, such as starting or stopped a GPS application, for drivers who have a hand-held device mounted on their dash.