– Here is what you need to know, from AAA Washington:
• Washington’s new Distracted Driving law bans the use of any hand-held personal electronic device while driving – even if you are stopped at a signal or stuck in traffic.
• Reporting an emergency and “minimal use,” such as pushing a button to activate a mapping application, are still allowed.
• Violators will be fined $136 for a first offense and the fine doubles for subsequent offenses.
• Distracted driving violations are now reportable to insurance companies.
• The new law classifies other dangerous distractions, such as engaging with passengers or grooming, as secondary offenses.
– “Washington’s new distracted driving law goes into effect July 23. Here’s what not to do.”
“Washington’s new, tougher distracted driving law — the one that bans holding a cellphone while driving, even when stopped at a red light — goes into effect July 23.
The law bans the use of handheld devices while driving and includes cellphones, tablets, laptops and video games. That means no texting, checking social media, watching videos, using the camera or talking with the device in hand, including while stopped in traffic.
The reason for the law? Distraction-related crashes and fatalities are on the rise in Washington, according to the NW Insurance Council. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports one in four crashes involves cellphone use just before the crash,” by Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
– “New distracted driving law coming Sunday”
“Under the law, called “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics,” drivers cannot hold cell phones while driving.
Even checking your texts during a stop at light becomes illegal under the new law.
It’s a move Governor Jay Inslee said will save lives.
‘Put the cell phones down. Preserve life,’ said Inslee, D-Washington, during an event on the state Capitol steps previewing the enactment of the new law.
Drivers can only use their phones to call 911 or by using one finger to trigger a voice-activated application.
A first offense is $136, a second offense within five years jumps to $234.
Under the new law, those citations are reported to insurance companies,” by Drew Mikkelsen, KING-5 TV News, Seattle.
– Update: July 25, 2017
“New Distracted Driving Law: Primary vs. Secondary Offenses”
“A primary offense is where a law enforcement officer can pull over your vehicle and issue a citation. In this case, you can be pulled over for watching videos, texting, calling, basically anytime a phone is in your hand (even when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light). If you’re caught, a citation will not only cost you at least $136 but can also be reported to your insurance provider.
A secondary offense means that a law can only be enforced when a primary offense has also occurred. Some examples of secondary offenses are:
Taking a drink of coffee or water
The bottom line is you can’t get pulled over for these things alone,” by WSP Government and Media Relations.