New cell laws in place for Washington drivers

Jan 10, 2018

After a six-month grace period where drivers were given warnings for driving while on their cell phones, police in Washington have now begun enforcing their new distracted driving laws.

With the new law, it means drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while driving, while stopped in traffic or at a stop light or sign.

This also includes other devices such as tablets.

Hands-free use of devices is limited to a single touch or swipe.

It is encouraged by law enforcement that drivers plug in routes on a phone and start their music prior to starting to drive.

Drivers caught with a cell phone in their hand will earn a $136 ticket.

If caught a second time, the fine increases to $234.

These violations will be available to insurance companies.

Lawmakers enacted this new law in 2017 and originally, it was set to start in 2019.

Gov. Jay Inslee wanted the law to start in July of 2017, but instructed law enforcement to give a six-month grace period so drivers could adapt to the law.

According to Washington State Patrol, nearly 7,000 warnings were issued to drivers during the six-month period.

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