Distracted drivers and speeding hot spots

Distracted drivers and speeding hot spots »Play Video
TRI-CITIES - It's illegal--- but far from gone. Go anywhere in town, and you're likely to see drivers jabbering on their phones--- and texting while driving.

"Yeah, I got really scared," said Jessica Aranda.

Jessica - like many others - is a victim of an accident caused by cell phone use.

"You're here - looking down - and you don't even really know what's going on," added Jessica.

She now forces her mom to use her bluetooth exclusively.

"I'm a safe person, I like to be cautious," explained Jessica.

Since last year - tickets given on highways for cell phone have decreased by more than 45 percent. Texting remains about the same.

"It's still fairly common to see someone driving down the road talking on their cell phone," said Officer Aaron Hamel.

Not only are drivers distracted, they're also speeding. On state highways in the Tri-Cities - state troopers have issued 600 more warnings since 2011. All cases involved speeding.

"A lot of people just think nothing's going to happen to them until they get in an accident," said Officer Hamel.

As a result of collisions - Washington State Patrol is keeping a close watch on these hot spots. Between the Blue Bridge south to I-182 you're more likely to be ticketed. The same goes coming from Kartchner north to the Eltopia area.

If you're headed to Benton City from West Richland on I-182 - keep an eye on the limit. State patrol also keep close tabs on the busy SR 240 between Kennewick and Richland.

Going over one to five miles per hour the limit in a zone over 40 miles per hour could cost you 93 bucks. Over by 15 - up to $144.

Between speeding and illegally using a phone - victims like Jessica have one message:

"If you're so into your phone, let it go while you're driving," said Jessica.

We also want to mention the cost of texting while driving. That alone could put you out $124.