Target Zero – New Distracted Driving Initiative
Washington State Legislation Will Take Effect July 23, 2017
With a goal of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways to zero by the year 2030, the state of Washington is targeting distracted driving. As of July, 23, 2017, the following actions will be heavily regulated:
No hand-held cell phone use
- Drivers may not use hand-held cell phones while they are driving, stopped in traffic, or at a stop light. This includes tablets, laptops, games, or other hand-held electronic devices.
- Drivers may not watch video while they drive.
- This does not apply if a driver is contacting emergency services.
- Drivers can use hand-held devices when they are parked or out-of-the-flow of traffic.
Hands-free use is allowed
- Hands-free use, such as through Bluetooth, is allowed as is a single touch to start a function. Start GPS or music before you drive.
- You can also get a $99 ticket for other types of distractions such as grooming, smoking, eating, or reading if the activity interferes with safe driving and you are pulled over for another traffic offense.
- Some things are not included in the law. Transit and emergency vehicle drivers are exempt. Drivers of commercial vehicles must follow federal laws.
- Two-way radio, citizens band radio, or amateur radio equipment are not included in the law.
- The first ticket will cost at least $136. Get a ticket again within five years, and those tickets cost at least $234. Unlike current law, which exempts cell phone violations from being reported to insurance companies, all violations will be available to insurance companies.