Distracted Driving Law
Sill confused about the Washington’s Distracted Driving Law? We’ll try to clear a few things up.
Unfortunately, what prompted this blog is the fact that a valued client just received a distracted driving ticket from Federal Way Police. She was stopped at a red light, received a text and picked up her phone to read it. Flashing blue lights & a 136 dollar ticket later and she was free to drive on.
So, before you get behind the wheel keep these things in mind.
The obvious and most important thing to remember is that accidents from distracted driving are preventable. They not only impact you and those with you but others on and around the road. Please drive safely.
According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities increased 32 percent year over year 2014 to 2015.
Distracted Driving Law Takeaways:
- It will cost you; $136 is the penalty for the first offense. The second time… it’s $234.
- It is a Primary Violation; stopping you for that reason alone is allowed.
- The law bans the use of cellphones, tablets, laptops and video games while driving. This includes while being stopped at an intersection or in traffic.
- Like moving violations, it will appear on the driver’s record and will be picked up by the insurance companies. This may and most likely will have an impact on your Car Insurance rates.
The New Law Allows Certain Previsions:
- Holding your cellphone to call 911 or emergency service remains legal in Washington State.
- Although the law specifically prohibits “holding a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands”, it does allow for “the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of the device”. (this author is no lawyer and in no way is this legal advice but an example that comes to mind is pushing a button to answer your phone hands free or to voice dial).
For safety, your personal finances and your insurance rates, use a hands free device.
PHOTO CREDIT: FEDERAL WAY POLICE FACEBOOK PAGE
Haymaker Insurance is an Independent Insurance Broker / Agent specializing in Car Insurance & Home Insurance in the Federal Way and Puget Sound Areas.