Oregon isn’t the Only State With New Cell Phone Usage Restrictions When Driving

Washington State’s new cell phone restrictions while driving

9/20/2017

Oregon isn’t the only state with new restrictions for cell phone usage while driving, Washington got some new restrictions over the summer too. While Washington’s new cell phone laws aren’t as encompassing as Oregon’s they are still worth understanding. While the new law went into effect on July 23, 2017 not all law enforcement agencies in the state began handing out tickets right away. State Police are easing into the new laws with a six month grace period where they are handing out educational cards. Most law enforcement agencies are not offering a grace period though.

What the New Law Entails

The new laws restrict cell phone usage while driving this includes using cell phones and other handheld devices while at stoplights or stop signs. So no more waiting until a red light to send a text message. The law also makes watching videos on devices or in the dash illegal.

Built-in electronics and hands-free devices are allowed (not to watch videos though), as long as there is "minimal use of a finger." It is legal to make calls to emergency services and 911 still.

Penalties for Not Following the New Law

While the fine isn’t as steep as the one in Oregon, violating the new cell phone restrictions is a considered a primary offense, so you can be pulled over just for using your cell phone. The fine for your first offense is $136. Additional offenses within a five year period increase the fine by $234 per citation.

Car Insurance Increases

Under the new law citations will be reported on your driving, which means your insurance premiums could go up. Particularly for repeat offenders. The fines coupled with the risk of increased insurance rates, hopefully will be enough to get you to leave your phone down while driving.

Hands-free Driving

Between the law changes in Washington and Oregon, now is a good time to trade in your old truck for a new one with bluetooth connectivity. South Sound Trucks has the area’s largest selection of lifted trucks with bluetooth connectivity.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the online inventory of used trucks in Olympia, then visit South Sound Trucks to test drive the truck of your dreams and find a new weekend warrior to hit the trails with.