One bright spot this bleak legislative session in Olympia has been the broad coalition of partners working to crack down on distracted driving. A bill to make handheld cell phone use and texting while driving a primary offense passed handily through the Senate, but was watered down by the House to only apply the cell phone provisions to only teen drivers, who will not be allowed to use a cell phone while driveing, period.
But even though it’s already illegal in Washington, the secondary offense status of the infraction means a police officer cannot pull a driver over for talking on a cell phone unless the driver is doing something else wrong too.
Studies show that driving and talking on a cell phone is as dangerous as driving drunk because of the cognitive challenges involved. Adults should be held equally responsible for putting people in danger by talking on the phone. Cops want this bill. You want this bill. Click here to urge your legislators to pass the original bill so it has teeth.
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