Do GPS Devices Fall Under New Cell Phone Law?

With all this new talk about cell phone laws and what’s allowed or not, driver’s aren’t really sure what they can do while driving now. I already covered what’s acceptable in the new cell phone law but more questions have been raised in the meantime. For instance, a lot of people have GPS systems equipped in their cars that help them get from one place to another.

According to Section 46.61.668 of the Revised Code of Washington, drivers are only allowed to use a GPS or navigation device so long as it’s permanently attached to the vehicle. If it’s a handheld program, then you can forget about it. According to Sargent Freddy Williams, the Washington State Patrol spokesperson, if the GPS device is not affixed to the vehicle, driver’s can get a $124 ticket.

If you’re one of the many who doesn’t have an actual GPS device but uses your smart phone to pull up directions, the same rules apply. If it’s in a cradle, affixed to your dashboard then you’re alright. But if a law enforcement official catches you with the device in your hand than you’ll be busted. What do they mean by “permanently affixed” to the vehicle? Basically, they just don’t want you with something in your hand that you’re looking at and thus taking your eyes off the road. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen the devastating effects of distracted driving, so keep in mind that these laws are in place for a reason.
-Kirk Bernard