Washington State Patrol clarifies distracted driving law and grace period

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A six-month grace period is benefiting distracted drivers Friday.

Since last month 337 motorists were stopped for driving under the influence of electronics. 15 were stopped in Benton and Franklin County in the first week alone. State wide only 27 were cited for violating the new law.

Many believe drinking coffee while driving is illegal but, that's not entirely true. “What is illegal is to be so distracted inside your vehicle with food, water, reading a newspaper, that if you’re driving all over the roadway and causing other traffic violations, you may receive a citation for this dangerously distracted law," Washington State Trooper Chris Thorson said.

Trooper Thorson has not personally stopped anyone just yet. He says overall it seems everyone is following the new law but the ones who are not have a little time to adjust.


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