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WA Cell Phone Law

Operating cell phones hands-free in the car is no longer just a wise decision – IT’S THE LAW.  The Washington State Legislature has now mandated that cell phone use in a motor vehicle without a  hands-free device is a crime. Beginning June 10, 2010, talking on the phone without a hands-free device is now a PRIMARY OFFENSE with a  penalty of $124.

Make the smart choice and outfit your vehicle with a hands-free device TODAY and stay on the right side of the law, and most importantly, STAY SAFE!

Washington State Patrol: No grace period for new WA cell phone law

Washington State Hand-Free Law:

Excerpt:

RCW 46.61.667 and 2007 c 417 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section,(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction. a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person operating:
(a) An authorized emergency vehicle, or a tow truck responding to a disabled vehicle;
(b) A moving motor vehicle using a wireless communications device in hands-free mode;
(c) A moving motor vehicle using a hand-held wireless communications device to:
(i) Report illegal activity;
(ii) Summon medical or other emergency help;
(iii) Prevent injury to a person or property; or
(iv) Relay information that is time sensitive between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator’s dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle;
(d) A moving motor vehicle while using a hearing aid.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not restrict the operation of an amateur radio station by a person who holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the federal communications commission.
(4) For purposes of this section,
“hands-free mode” means the use of a wireless communications device with a speaker phone, headset, or earpiece.
(5) The state preempts the field of regulating the use of wireless communications devices in motor vehicles, and this section supersedes any local laws, ordinances, orders, rules, or regulations enacted by a political subdivision or municipality to regulate the use of wireless communications devices by the operator of a motor vehicle.
Infractions that result from the use of a wireless communications device while operating a motor vehicle under this section shall not become part of the driver’s record under RCW46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.
Sec. 4. RCW 46.61.668 and 2007 c 416 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle who, by means of an electronic wireless communications device, sends, reads, or writes a text message, is guilty of a traffic infraction. A person does not send, read, or write a text message when he or she reads, selects, or enters a phone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making a phone call.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to a person operating:
(a) An authorized emergency vehicle;
(b) A voice-operated global positioning or navigation system that is affixed to the vehicle and that allows the user to send or receive messages without diverting visual attention from the road or engaging the use of either hand; or
(c) A moving motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to:
(i) Report illegal activity;
(ii) Summon medical or other emergency help;
(iii) Prevent injury to a person or property; or
(iv) Relay information that is time sensitive between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator’s dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.

Infractions under this section shall not become part of the driver’s record under RCW 46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.