Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Washington Cell Phone Law, Texting And Talking While Driving

Washington Cell Phone Law 
Texting And Talking While Driving

8/8/11- I went on a simple drive to the Post Office in Federal Way, down Dash Point Rd, and saw several people using cell phones while driving. A couple of them struck me as dangerous.

One was a dump truck driving on Pacific Highway that was on the cell phone. That's an accident waiting to happen. Saw a few other cars as well with distracted driving and cell phone use. Saw a taxi (see a lot of taxis using cell phones while driving).

The one that I saw that was crazy was a woman sitting next to me at a light on Dash Point Rd in Federal Way- she was using 2 devices at same time. She had a device in the left hand that was balanced on the steering wheel and was texting with a pink cell phone in the right hand. It looked like she was watching a video with the left hand device. When the light turned green she went a couple of feet very slowly and then stopped. She could not drive and text at same time. A lot of drivers behind her were getting upset. She didn't even notice anything around her. I could have been a cop that pulled up and she would have been in trouble as the state of Washington has banned cell phones while driving (you need to use a hands free device), so it's not a complete ban. They have a Washington Cell Phone Law. See below for the Washington cell phone law and the texting while driving law.

Looks like this is a $124 fine. It does not get reported to insurance or employers.

Texting Game or Distracted Driving Game (it's the same game).

Washington State Cell Phone Law

RCW 46.61.667

Using a wireless communications device while driving.

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction.

     (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person operating:

     (a) An authorized emergency vehicle, or a tow truck responding to a disabled vehicle;

     (b) A moving motor vehicle using a wireless communications device in hands-free mode;

     (c) A moving motor vehicle using a hand-held wireless communications device to:

     (i) Report illegal activity;

     (ii) Summon medical or other emergency help;

     (iii) Prevent injury to a person or property; or

     (iv) Relay information that is time sensitive between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle;

     (d) A moving motor vehicle while using a hearing aid.

     (3) Subsection (1) of this section does not restrict the operation of an amateur radio station by a person who holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the federal communications commission.

     (4) For purposes of this section, "hands-free mode" means the use of a wireless communications device with a speaker phone, headset, or earpiece.

     (5) The state preempts the field of regulating the use of wireless communications devices in motor vehicles, and this section supersedes any local laws, ordinances, orders, rules, or regulations enacted by a political subdivision or municipality to regulate the use of wireless communications devices by the operator of a motor vehicle.

     (6) Infractions that result from the use of a wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle under this section shall not become part of the driver's record under RCW 46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.

[2010 c 223 § 3; 2007 c 417 § 2.]

Notes:

     Intent -- 2007 c 417: "The use of wireless communications devices by motorists has increased in recent years. While wireless communications devices have assisted with quick reporting of road emergencies, their use has also contributed to accidents and other mishaps on Washington state roadways. When motorists hold a wireless communications device in one hand and drive with the other, their chances of becoming involved in a traffic mishap increase. It is the legislature's intent to phase out the use of hand-held wireless communications devices by motorists while operating a vehicle." [2007 c 417 § 1.]     Effective date -- 2007 c 417: "This act takes effect July 1, 2008." [2007 c 417 § 3.]

Texting and Driving Laws

RCW 46.61.668

Sending, reading, or writing a text message while driving.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle who, by means of an electronic wireless communications device, sends, reads, or writes a text message, is guilty of a traffic infraction. A person does not send, read, or write a text message when he or she reads, selects, or enters a phone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making a phone call.

     (2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person operating:

     (a) An authorized emergency vehicle;

     (b) A voice-operated global positioning or navigation system that is affixed to the vehicle and that allows the user to send or receive messages without diverting visual attention from the road or engaging the use of either hand; or

     (c) A moving motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to:

     (i) Report illegal activity;

     (ii) Summon medical or other emergency help;

     (iii) Prevent injury to a person or property; or

     (iv) Relay information that is time sensitive between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.

     (3) Infractions under this section shall not become part of the driver's record under RCW 46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.

[2010 c 223 § 4; 2007 c 416 § 1.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2007 c 416: "This act takes effect January 1, 2008." [2007 c 416 § 2.]

I'd love to hear some comments from people that have been cited or people that have seen others violating the law.

/\/\Carla/\/\

3 comments:

  1. Saw a woman behind me in traffic today that was texting. She was in a nice, white BMW. She was mainly doing it while we waited at lights,plus playing with her hair,etc..

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  2. this topic is actually being tested on the drivers permit test now. Distracted driving causes issues. Whether that is eating, makeup, texting, or the radio. People need to use common sense.

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  3. I agree completely. Thanks for the comment.

    I still see a lot of driving while talking on the cell phone, everytime we go out.

    /\/\Carla/\/\

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