Washington State’s New Distracted Driving Law

Like many other states around the country, Washington State is growing more concerned about roadway safety. As a result, a new law was recently passed regarding the use of mobile devices on the road. Under this new law, a citation for using a mobile device while driving is considered a “serious traffic violation”. Our Washington State attorneys have gathered all the facts for you, so read on to get the details and avoid getting pulled over because of this new law.

Extreme Ramifications

Now, if you get pulled over for using a mobile device while driving, it’s considered a "serious traffic violation” like reckless driving or speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. This means that a citation for using a mobile device could seriously impact your insurance rates, and possibly lead to a suspension of your license, causing harmful ramifications to your day to day life. There is one exception for this new law, as “using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services” is still legal.

Ways You Can Be Targeted

For purposes of this new law, driving has been defined as operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. This means you should be careful to not use your phone at red lights and while stuck in traffic, as these are temporarily stationary positions according to the law. "Driving" does not include when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of, or off of, an active roadway and has stopped in a location where it can safely remain stationary. The law is slightly unclear on dashboard mounts, but does define “use” as “holding a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands,” as well as “watching video on a personal electronic device.”

Know Your Rights

With this new law in place, it’s important to know all the facts, and know your rights. Be safe and be aware that law enforcement can now use “distracted driving” to pull you over. If you are pulled over and cited for using a mobile device while driving, call our criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case and get a free consultation.