Do you know the details? Washington’s Cell Phone Law Turns 1 Year Old

On Friday, Washington’s law banning the use of cellphones held to one’s ear or texting while driving turned a year old. As you probably already know, it makes holding your phone to your ear or texting while driving a primary offense. That means an officer can ticket you for those actions without you having to do something else wrong first, like blow through a red light or speeding. I’m posting the link to the Seattle Times’ article (below) because it has some good information. For example, I didn’t know that all cellphone use, including hands-free, is illegal for drivers under age 18. Of course, a $124 ticket is not chump change – but neither is the risk of being seriously injured or dying minimal for distracted drivers. Be safe and avoid taking calls on the road if you can.- Roxanne

Troopers write 6,850 tickets under year-old cellphone law
The State Patrol is cracking down on cellphone violators as the new law turns a year old.

By Susan Gilmore
Seattle Times staff reporter

About Washington’s cellphone law.

  • What the law does: Makes it a primary offense to text, or to talk on a cellphone with it held to the ear, while driving
  • What it doesn’t do: Ticket won’t become part of a driver’s permanent record or be reported to insurance companies
  • For drivers younger than 18: Outlaws any cellphone use, even with a headset
  • Penalty: $124 fine
  • Exemptions: Transit and emergency-vehicle personnel, tow-truck operators and those using a hearing aid are exempted, as well as anyone calling to report illegal activity or summon emergency help

The state’s restrictions on the use of cellphones while driving turn a year old Friday, and the State Patrol is strongly enforcing the law, issuing five times more tickets than before it became a primary offense.

In numbers released Tuesday, the Patrol said 6,850 drivers had been cited statewide in the year since the law took effect — a huge increase from the 1,344 citations issued in the previous year.

As a primary offense, drivers now can be pulled over merely for holding a cellphone to their ear or texting. An infraction carries a $124 fine. The citation does not go on one’s driving record.

Read the rest of the story here: Traffic | Troopers write 6,850 tickets under year-old cellphone law | Seattle Times Newspaper.

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