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Distracted driving laws to become stricter

Distracted driving laws to become...

SPOKANE, Wash. - A new measure signed by Governor Inslee will ban hand-held devices while driving. 

As the law stands now, it's perfectly legal to talk on your phone if it's on speaker phone.

But come July, having a device in your hand at all is going to cost you.

Traffic Officer Brad Moon takes no joy in printing $136 tickets for distracted driving.

And he's heard every excuse.

“Life happens, and I get that,” said Moon.

But when it comes to your safety, no excuse is good enough.

“It's become kind of an epidemic and the focus is not on the driving anymore. It's on the exterior distraction.”

But Senate Bill 5289 focuses on electronics, and closing dangerous loopholes.

Currently, state law bans texting and holding a cell phone to your ear.

But it was written before social media, streaming video, and countless other functions were available on our phones.

Now, you will only be allowed “minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device."

“What you could do is if you had your phone mounted up on the window or in your center console, if you have the ability to hit the button without picking it up to either answer, hang up, or cancel a call, you would be allowed to do that,” said Moon.