Distracted Driving Law: Concentrate or Pay

Just drive! Or pay the fines and then the increased insurance premiums. Sunday the new distracted driving law and a major tightening of the rules concerning cell phones take effect in Washington state. Cell phones must be hands-free or not used. Videos, photos, and texts are out. In sum, don’t do anything else but drive. The use of your phone will cost you $136 for the first violation and $234 for additional violations. Other distractions carry a $99 fine.

It is legal to make a 911 call and to use a cb.

Drive hands-free or phone-free

The only legal use of phones is in hands-free mode, activated by a single touch. Otherwise, move out of the flow of traffic. It is no long legal to check your messages at the stop light. Watching video even with a hands-free device is prohibited. An officer may stop you even if you are otherwise driving legally. To be safe be sure to set up your GPS and music before you pull away from the curb.

Washington State will now report cell phone violations to your insurance company. So, before you take that call, consider that you may need to add an increase in your insurance premium to your budget.

Distracted Driving Law: Other distractions cost you $99.

Grooming activities, smoking, and eating may cost you a $99 ticket. Officers must have other reasons to pull you over, and the state does not report these tickets to your insurance company.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office has already begun ticketing for violations of the updated law. On the other hand, the Washington State Patrol has established a grace period. They will issue only warnings for six months from the enforcement date of July 23, 2017. Check out this handy card. 

Two of our attorneys routinely help with traffic violations, including DUIs.