Police patrols on the Palouse ramp up after college students leave town

MOSCOW, ID - Have you noticed more police patrolling traffic now that most of the college students in Pullman and Moscow have left town for the summer?

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains why you might want to be extra careful behind the wheel to avoid getting pulled over.

The weather is heating up as we get closer to another summer on the Palouse. And as temperatures ramp up, so will police patrols.

"Guys are out there looking for speed, major problem during the summer," said Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant.

Tennant said when the college students leave for the summer, police end up pulling over more drivers for traffic violations.

"When 17,000, 20,000 students are in town, we're awfully busy handling calls for service," said Tennant. "When they go in the summertime, that does give us some time to work on some of those traffic area that may have been neglected throughout the year."

If you get pulled over in Pullman, a speeding ticket will cost you.

"Five miles an hour starts at $113," said Pullman Senior Police Officer Aaron Breshears.

As it turns out, police aren't just watching for speed. So when you get behind the wheel, remember to buckle up.

"It's part of a nation wide effort to reduce injuries and deaths on the roadway," said Moscow Police Chief David Duke.

Duke said more of his officers are patrolling the roads because law enforcement agencies across Idaho just started a 'Seat Belt Mobilization' campaign.

"So between now and June first, we'll have extra officers on the street patrolling for mostly those primary violations, but in the context they'll be doing the seat belt enforcement," said Duke.

In Idaho, a police office can't pull a driver over for simply not buckling up... But they can in Washington. Talking on the phone while driving is also a primary offense in Washington. So when it comes to summertime driving... Police say keep an eye on your speed, hang up your phone, and buckle your seat belt.

"The most important safety factor anybody can do within a car is just click it," said Duke.

More than 70 Idaho Law Enforcement agencies, including the Moscow Police Department and Latah County Sheriff's Office, are participating in the Seat Belt Mobilization. It'll last until June first.