Washington New Cell Phone Law

By
Real Estate Agent with Metropolist License #88953

Washington New Cell Phone Law washington new cell phone law

Our new cell phone law went into effect Thursday, June 10, prohibiting holding a wireless device to your ear while operating a moving motor vehicle.

I've heard people talk about ways to get around the new law: "It's okay to talk on the speaker" or "It's okay to text if you're at a stop light".

First, I wonder why people feel the need to get around the law.  Isn't it easy enough to pull over or put on a blue tooth or headphones and just obey the law?

And secondly, I thought, I better find out exactly what is legal and illegal.  I use headphones in my car, but what are the rules about answering the phone or dialing?

Here is what I learned:

  • If you are calling 911, the law does not apply.
  • Touching the phone to dial or answer IS allowed.
  • Texting is banned; even at a stop light.  You are still operating the vehicle.
  • Holding your phone to your ear is illegal.
  • Using the speaker phone may be illegal depending on the city.  Each city interprets the law differently, so be careful in Redmond!  The Washington State patrol says it's okay though.
  • Fines are $124

Law Enforcement agencies look for tell tale signs similar to DUI drivers: weaving in their lane, crossing the center line or the fog line, driving over the speed limit or more likely, under the speed limit.

In 2007 a law was passed creating cell phone usage while driving a secondary offense, meaning you had to be pulled over for something else in order to get a ticket for cell phone use too.  Now, you can get pulled over only using your cell phone while driving.

I think it's a good law.  If you are texting or holding a phone it's harder to react to situations that can come up while driving.  I think the law seems pretty liberal giving us the ability to answer and dial.

 

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Kate Pedersen

Broker / Realtor ®

206.841.5947

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Rainmaker
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Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

It's a very sensible law. We've had it here in Ontario for a few months and I don't see why people should feel the need to get around it.

Jun 21, 2010 06:51 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Kate Pedersen
Metropolist - Seattle, WA
because life moves you

I just drove across the U.S. and did not see another state with signs banning handheld or texting.  So I looked up more information.  We have 7 states banning handheld and 28 states banning texting.  Yeah, I think the texting is definitely more worrisome. 

Jun 21, 2010 02:03 PM #2
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Rainmaker
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Kate Pedersen

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