Police in state busting distracted drivers as part of campaign

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. -- The Department of Transportation says over 3,000 die in crashes from distracted driving every year, but officers in Washington are educating drivers about the dangers before it's too late.

Bonney Lake police say distracted driving is a big problem in their town.

Officer Daron Wolschleger said, "We figure 25% of our collisions are due to distracted driving, mostly cell phone violations. It’s very dangerous."

This month, if Bonney Lake police see you talking or texting behind the wheel they will fine you. More than 100 precincts in Washington are taking part in the "U Text. U Drive. U Pay" campaign.

We watched as  Wolschleger warned a driver about driving while being distracted behind the wheel.

Joe said, "I think talking on the phone is distracting to a certain extent. I think active dialing, texting and checking emails is obviously more distracting."

Police say it's all about education.

"A lot of people think 'Oh, it just takes a second to send this text or dial this number,' but that’s all it takes to take your eyes off the road and the next thing you know you’re rear-ending the car in front of you because they stopped at the stop sign," Wolschleger said.

If you're caught texting and driving, you could pay a fine of $124.