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Governor Signs New Distracted Driving Law, Bans Even Holding Phone

New law goes into effect next January  (Getty Images)
New law goes into effect next January (Getty Images)

Although the law was signed by Governor Inslee Monday, it will not go into effect until January 1, 2019. But when it does, your wallet will be $136 lighter if you’re busted.

The new distracted driving bill will basically make it illegal to hold your cellphone while you are driving. The current law only banned talking or texting while operating a moving vehicle.

But this new one expands it to holding such a device while operating a vehicle, whether you’re moving or stopped at a light or stop sign. Period.  The infraction will cost $136 for the first offense, $235 for the second.

Most media outlets, including KOMO-TV in Seattle, are referring to it as the ‘holding cellphone bill’.   Officials say the best way for people to adjust to the new law, which will go into effect January 1, 2019, is to get used to putting the phone in the console while driving, or invest now in a Bluetooth or other hands free system.

Interestingly enough, a number of Democratic legislators were against the bill, while Republicans were the ones who helped push it through.

 

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