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What’s Allowed Under the New Cell Phone Law?

With Washington’s new cell phone law going into effect in just 12 hours, many people are scrambling to educate themselves on exactly what will be allowed or not allowed under this new legislation.  As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I’ve been getting lots of questions about what the new law constitutes as talking on your phone (or text messaging) while driving.

As far as what law enforcement will be on the lookout for officer Sande English claims, “It’s very similar to the DUI markers that you see.  They’ll be wearing in their lanes of travel, crossing the center line or the fog line.  They’ll either be a few miles over the speed limit or, more often than not, they’re under the speed limit. Then there’s the classic ‘sitting at a green light.'”  According to this article, here are some clarifications on the law.

What’s consider okay under the new law?
-Using a hands-free device such as a wireless bluetooth
-Using an earpiece that connects to the phone with a cord.
-Placing your phone on your dashboard and enabling the speaker phone
-Dialing up a number or speaking a name to place a call while driving

What’s not okay?
-Holding the phone up to your ear while talking
-Holding the phone with your shoulder
-Text messaging while driving (even at a red light)
-Sending emails or web browsing on your phone while driving

To clarify another myth about the new law, the ticket will not count as a moving violation on your record and therefore it will not be reported to your insurance company.

-Kirk Bernard