With Washington’s new cell phone law going into effect this Thursday, teens better beware. While adult drivers will be ticketed $124 for breaking the cell phone law, teenage drivers stand to suffer from even greater consequences. As it stands, teenagers under age 18 in Washington state, are issued an intermediate driver’s license when they pass their driving test. They must abide by the rules of this graduated license for either 6 months, or until they turn 18, whichever comes first.
However, if a teenage driver is caught talking on their cell phones or texting while driving, they’ll be forced to keep that intermediate license until their 18th birthday regardless. With the intermediate license they cannot drive between the hours of 1am and 5am, and they’re also banned from driving with other teenage passengers. These restrictions are hefty enough that teenage driver’s can’t wait to graduate from their intermediate licenses.
Washington State Trooper Christina Martin claims in this article that while adult drivers will be unhappy with getting a ticket, teenage drivers will likely be devastated. She says, “Statistically new drivers, teenage drivers, have a very high collision rate, injury collision rate. And the purpose of that law is to allow them to get their driver’s license, get out there, and concentrate on their driving. And learn about being safe on the road.” As a Seattle accident attorney, I hope that these tough repercussions will make teens think twice before getting on their cell phones when they’re behind the wheel.