Using a wireless communications device while driving.
(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.
Starting on June 10, 2010, talking or sending text messages while holding a wireless device will carry a $124 fine, after legislation signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire that changes the current cell phone law into a primary traffic offense.
Unless you are a cop, fire, ambulance or tow driver….THIS MEANS YOU!
I want to stay local on this one. It has bothered me for a while that this issue is such a low-level issue with the local, county and WSP. When this law passed and prior to its implementation, you would have thought that it was the biggest deal going in motor vehicle laws since DUI/DWI laws. For nearly a month before the enforcement of this law would become effective, you couldn’t drive a hundred feet without seeing one agency or another with someone pulled over and explaining the law and its consequences.
Now that the law is in the books, and enforceable, we are right back where we started. Everyday, on every road in every city, I see drivers with the cell phone attached to their heads and not one police officer is stopping them to enforce the law that they so aggressively “educated” people on in the beginning. I see just as many folks with cell phones being used while driving as I did before the law was passed.
Having said all the above, somebody please tell me and get it off your chest, the police have more to do than to chase down cell phone users and ticket this offense. I would, in most cases be agreeable to that argument, if but for one shining detail. THE WORK LOAD HASN’T CHANGED! Police have no more to do today than yesterday, last week, month or year. They are still chasing the same bad guys, speeders and “J” walkers. The people of the Great State of Washington saw fit to make this a primary infraction for local agencies to look for, enforce and cite. During the period of educating the public, law enforcement agencies were stopping every Tom, Dick and Harriet with a cell phone in their car to lecture them on the New Law. Now that they are able to stop drivers who are using their phones, they what? Suddenly don’t have time to enforce the law?
Let me help! Give me a ticket book, authority and some silly badge, I will in return quit my job and work for the police and make stops for this infraction on my own. Figuring I stop 20 offenders in a day (easy pickings from my observations), 7 days a week, and splitting the fines with the state 50/50, I could pull down and easy, $8680.00 a week.
Or you could have that Pierce County Sheriff sitting at Big Foot Java on Meridian Ave/Hwy 161 to get out there and do his/her job. Hey, don’t get me wrong I support the police in all their forms in what they do. I know that it is sometimes not very easy. I’m just thinking, that guy or gal that is about to run into me because I had to stop and they are more interested in what someone said to someone else, is just a bit more important to me and my safety than that the idiot pitching a gum wrapper out the window.
And one more thing… Ticketing after the fact does not help my bumper at all. They phone, don’t stop and hit me, get cited for having an accident because they were on the phone or texting. That just doesn’t fix my car the way prevention would have. And people….. one word…..BLUETOOTH!
Have a great day everyone.