Starting today, March 7, 2017, the Washington State Patrol will begin a new emphasis: Following too close.

We’ve all seen it. You’re driving down the freeway and someone is right on your back bumper. It’s scary…and it happens way too often. Last year, WSP troopers investigated more than 9,500 collisions that were caused by following too close.

According to Washington State Law, RCW 46.61.145, you’re required to “follow at a distance that is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

Getting caught can run you a $136 citation, or if a collision is involved, that can cost you up to $187.

That’s why between March 7 – March 9, troopers will be on the lookout for those following too close. The WSP continuously strives to reduce the number of injury and fatality collisions in our state each year. You can help us by increasing your following distance and giving yourself more time to react. This is especially important during traffic congestion, adverse weather, and as your speed increases. The more room you have, the more time you have to react, and the less likely you are to be involved in a collision.