Washington State Patrol starts ‘following too close’ emphasis

Photo courtesy Washington State Patrol.

Starting March 7 and through March 9, Washington State Patrol troopers will focus their efforts on a statewide emphasis for following too close. Last year, the State Patrol investigated more than 9,500 collisions caused by following too close and stopped approximately 24,300 vehicles for the violation.

The “Following Too Closely” law — RCW 46.61.145 — requires vehicles 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. If you’re caught following too close, it could cost you $136 and if a collision is involved, it could be $187.

The State Patrol strives to reduce the number of injury and fatality collisions in our state each year. You can help troopers by increasing your following distance and giving yourself more time to react. These two steps are 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.


  1. Good. How many times have you been followed too closely by a vehicle that seems annoyed you
    are..observing the speed limit and road conditions?


  2. If you are in the left lane and aren’t passing, you’re required to move over by state law. The photo that accompanies this story shows two offenses, not just one. I wish both were enforced, traffic would move a lot better.




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