washington texting ban
In 2007, Washington became the first state to ban drivers from sending cell phone text messages – or “texting” – while driving a motor vehicle. Since then, over 36 states have passed similar bans in response to an increase in distracted driving accidents, as well as the general growing concern about distracted driving.
In 2010, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) compiled a report on the many different methods states are using to combat distracted driving. Popular methods include
passing laws to ban or limit common distractions like cell phone use and launching education campaigns to warn teens learning to drive and other drivers that distracted driving can have serious, even deadly, consequences. Read the rest »
In June 2010, Washington’s legislature made a law that prohibited sending texts or emails on a cell phone while driving into a primary offense, meaning that police could ticket people who violated the law without first having to stop them for another violation, like an illegal lane change or a broken taillight. Since the change a year ago, the Washington State Patrol has issued 6,850 tickets to drivers violating the law, a huge increase from the 1,344 tickets issued before texting became a primary offense.
The law also prohibits holding a cell phone to one’s ear while driving, though drivers can talk on their phones if they use a hands-free device. Drivers who are under age 18 may not use a cell phone in any way while driving, even if it is hands-free. Read the rest »