Washington Updates Distracted Driving Law

by American Insurance News Release on Jul 24, 2017

Violations are now reported to your insurance company.


Washington state has defined its Distracted Driving law that just took effect on July 23, 2017. These changes include:

No Hand-Held Cell Phone Use While Driving

  • Even when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light
  • No typing messages or accessing information
  • No watching videos or using cameras

You CAN Use Your Device If You Are:

  • Hands-free (such as using Bluetooth) and can start use by a single touch or swipe without holding the phone
  • Parked or out-of-the-flow of traffic
  • Starting your GPS or music before you drive
  • Contacting emergency services

Electronics DUI (E-DUI) Ticket Cost

A Driving Under the Influence of Electronics ticket, an E-DUI, is the type of ticket drivers will receive if pulled over for using a hand-held electronic device while driving. The cost for receiving an E-DUI increases with each infraction. All violations will be available to your insurance company.

  • First E-DUI – $136
  • Second E-DUI (within 5 years) – $234

Not Included in the Law

  • Transit and emergency vehicle drivers are exempt. Drivers of commercial vehicles must follow federal laws.
  • Two-way radio, citizens band radio, or amateur radio equipment are not included in the law.

Dangerously Distracted
You can also get a $99 ticket for other types of distractions such as grooming, smoking, eating, or reading if the activity interferes with safe driving, and you are pulled over for another traffic offense.

Why?

  • Fatalities from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015 in Washington.
  • 71 percent of distracted drivers engage in the most dangerous distraction, cell phone use behind the wheel
  • One out of four crashes involves cell phone use just prior to the crash.
  • Can’t resist?  Pass your phone to the passenger, put it in the glove box, or turn it off before you drive.

Source: Washington Target Zero website

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