Federal Way police chief causes traffic accident while checking his BlackBerry
March 26, 2009 · 1:45 PM
From staff reports:
Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson issued a public apology for causing a traffic accident March 18 during the process of checking his BlackBerry mobile device.
Wilson was stopped at a red light at South 324th Street and Pacific Highway South when he glanced at his BlackBerry to view newspaper headlines. He then took his foot off the brake, thinking traffic had begun moving, and rear-ended the car in front of him. Neither of the vehicle's occupants were injured.
City manager Neal Beets conducted an internal review of the accident March 24 and issued the police chief a verbal reprimand — as is policy for officers involved in a collision that causes less than $700 in damage.
"I take full responsibility," Wilson said.
It is a secondary offense for citizens to text or talk on their cell phones while driving, but drivers of emergency vehicles and police are exempt to the state laws. Wilson admitted he violated the exemption granted to him as a police officer and apologized for the mistake.