The Federal Way Police Chief, Brian J. Wilson, was in a minor car accident in his unmarked police car because he was checking his BlackBerry device at the time reports The Seattle Times.
The car accident occurred 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.
According to the article, Wilson was stopped at a red light when he checked his BlackBerry. Due to driver distraction, he let off the brake and hit the car stopped ahead of him. There was no damage or injuries.
Wilson was given a verbal reprimand and has issued an apology. He will not be ticketed or reprimanded due to a city policy which does not hold officers responsible for accidents with less than $700 in damage. This has incensed many who believe that the Washington State Law forbidding the 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’s use a wireless communications device, click here. If you have serious injuries due to your accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney so that your rights are protected. With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable law firm, you may recover compensation for your damages. The Farber Law Group, with offices in Seattle and Bellevue, has more than 30 years experience in the Pacific Northwest representing car accident victims and their families.
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