Beginning tomorrow, June 10, law enforcement officers in Washington can stop drivers for texting or failure to use a hands-free cell phone device without first witnessing a primary infraction such as speeding.
"If you're holding the phone to your ear, you're likely to be stopped," said Washington State Patrol Captain Chris Gundermann.
"We will be flexible with virtually any type of headset or speakerphone device, but holding the phone itself to your ear will get our attention."
The fine is $124 and if a collision is involved, it's $175.
The same applies for texting.
Studies show that reading or sending a text message can keep a driver's eyes off the road for up to five seconds.
"We'll be looking for people who clearly aren't watching the road," Gundermann said.
"We've had a couple years to practice spotting this behavior and can usually tell when someone is texting. Sooner or later the phone comes up high enough that we can see it and make the stop."
Enforcement is to prevent crashes caused by distracted driving.
The cell phone/texting secondary violation law was enacted in 2008.
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