SPOKANE, Wash. - The countdown is on. Starting this Sunday, driving while distracted laws will get a lot more strict in Washington.
The new law cracks down on using electronic devices while driving, and an "E-DUI" could cost you $136.
"Hey there, can I see your driver's license real quick?" said Washington State Trooper Jeff Sevigney as he pulled over a driver on Wednesday. Trooper Sevigney pulled over this driver for staying too long in the fast lane. But starting on Sunday, troopers will also be on the lookout for violators of a new Washington law.
"The ultimate goal here is preventing serious injury and fatal collisions," Trooper Sevigney said. "That's why were out here."
Target Zero explains, starting July 23, hand-held electronic device use will be illegal, including when you're stopped at a traffic light. Those devices include phones, tablets, and laptops.
No typing messages or accessing info, like checking your email will be allowed, and no watching videos or using cameras.
"So having your phone mounted in your vehicle, and using a single touch or single swipe will be the only thing legal after Sunday," Trooper Sevigney explained.
There are some exceptions to this rule. If you're pulled over on the side of the road and you're stationary, or when you need to contact emergency services like 911, you can answer your phone.
Trooper Sevigney says he sees people distracted by their cell phones every day, and believes it is now an epidemic.
"At every beep, vibrate, noise that may emit from the electronic device, we now have to look at it, no matter if we're doing 70 miles an hour down the highway or driving through a school zone, we've now conditioned ourselves to look at it and its very dangerous," he said.
Target Zero explains there are also secondary offenses, such as grooming and smoking. But you can only be fined for them if you're first pulled over for something else such as speeding.
"If you spill your hot coffee and that causes you to leave the roadway and hit a parked car, you could be cited for hitting the parked car as well as spilling the coffee," Trooper Sevigney explained.
Trooper Sevigney says it's all in an effort to keep drivers safe.
For more information, visit http://wadrivetozero.com/DISTRACTED-DRIVING/.
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