Distracted Driving Bill passes Washington House

The “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act,” passed the Washington state House on Wednesday, and now heads to Governor Inslee’s office for a potential signature.

Under the current law, it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving, but if signed by the governor, the law would make it illegal to use hand-held electronics while driving, prohibiting drivers from using apps, GPS, or texting.

Spokesperson for AAA Washington, Jennifer Cook, hopes that if the bill is signed into law, it will tell drivers that it is not okay to text and drive.

“Well really it sends a message that driving distracted, using a personal device, is unacceptable, said Cook. “And its very risky and lots of people have lost their lives or been injured because of crashes involving distracted driving.”

If Governor Inslee signs the bill into law, a first-time ticket will cost offenders $139. That price will increase to $235 for a second offense. It will take effect in January 2019 if approved.

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