1 in 16 Seattle drivers on cell phones

A survey by University of Washington students found that about 6 percent of Seattle drivers - 1 in 16 - were using mobile phones.

An associate professor of communications, Philip Howard, directed more than 90 students. They watched nearly 40,000 drivers at random times on 16 days last month. They caught about 2,500 talking or texting.

The university reported Thursday that 55 percent of the drivers using cell phones were men and 45 percent women. Cell phone use peaked in rush hour and on Thursdays and Fridays.

Phoning while driving is a secondary offense, meaning officers can write up the $124 ticket only if they stop a driver for some other offense. State lawmakers have considered making the law tougher.

The Associated Press