If you live in the Evergreen state, get ready to put your phone down while driving. In 2016 distracted driving caused 156 of the 537 roadway deaths in Washington state, leading to state lawmakers passing the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act earlier this year.
How much is the fine?
First time offenders will be charged $136, if you are ticketed again during the next five years the fine increases to $234 per infraction.
What is considered a E-DUI?
The new law prohibits ANY hand held use of a cell phone while driving, including phone calls, composing or reading any messages, social media, and photography. Additionally you will be citied if you pick up your phone at a stop sign or red light.
Are there any exemptions?
If you have built-in electronics such as a car stereo that has Android Auto/Apple CarPlay or a Bluetooth connection, hands-free use of your phone is allowed. Also allowed is the use of a securely mounted cradle for GPS navigation/phone that allow hands-free use as long as it allows for “minimal use of a finger.”
Handheld phone calls to 911 or other emergency services are allowed, to legally use a handheld device for non-emergencies you must pull away from traffic lanes, to where the vehicle “can safely remain stationary.”
When does this law take effect?
The new distracted driving law will go into effect Sunday July, 23 2017.