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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.
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