/ The Seattle Traveler
Seattle — By Mary Jo Manzanares on March 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm
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New Hands-Free Law for Washington State

The State of Washington has had hands-free cell phone laws in place for awhile now, but recently enacted legislation will make enforcement of those regulations a little easier.

cellphone and headset Senate Bill 6345, which goes into law on June 11th, 2010, will boost the use of a hand-held cell phone while driving from a secondary offense (requiring another traffic violation to be cited) to a primary offense.  This means that the police can pull you over if they see you using a hand-held device – and for no other reasons than that.  The ticket is not a moving violation, that is, it will not become part of your driver’s record.

A few highlights of the new law:

  • Effective date:  June 11th, 2010
  • Bans the use of hand-held devices while driving
  • Applies for texting or talking without a headset while operating a vehicle
  • Dialing a phone is not considered text messaging
  • Operators of emergency vehicles are exempt
  • Tow truck operators are exempt
  • Anyone texting or calling to report illegal activity or summon emergency help is exempt
  • People using a hearing aid are exempt
  • Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a cell phone at all while driving, even if it’s a hands-free device
  • The ticket is $124.

If you don’t have a headset yet, or haven’t gotten it synched up to your cell phone, you’d better get to it.  June will be here before you know it!

Photo credit:  SXC

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