Late last month it became clear law enforcement has come up with a new (and perhaps controversial) way to deal with drivers who slow down to gawk at accidents – cite them for driving negligently.
This is what they did to a woman they say held up traffic in order to take pictures and video of a crash on Interstate 5 near Lynnwood in Snohomish County. The woman allegedly slowed down to memorialize a five-vehicle accident that had closed four northbound lanes on I-5. The woman was stopped by WSP and issued a negligent driving 2nd degree ticket for $553.
Negligent Driving 2nd Degree is codified under RCW 46.61.525. Subsection (1)(a) of RCW 46.61.525 reads: “A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if … he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.” Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction and subjects a person to a financial penalty, not jail or probation, like the crime of Negligent Driving 1st Degree. For purposes of the statute, “negligent” means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.
The 5 a.m. collisions at issue in May caused miles and miles of backup. The backup was, according to WSP, accentuated by people, like the woman cited, who couldn’t help themselves from taking photos and videos of the scene. What say you? Do you think this woman should have been cited for Negligent Driving 2nd Degree? Was she committing an infraction by her actions?
If you or a loved one is cited for a driving violation (whether it be in municipal, district our superior court), don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Traffic Lawyers. The Seattle Traffic Attorneys that make up the defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle traffic attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those cited, arrested or charged for a traffic offense all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.