What You Should Know About Seattle Cell Phone & Texting Tickets
As there is a lot of misinformation about Washington cell phone and texting tickets, I thought it would be helpful to provide Washington drivers with a quick summary.
-Texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving are now primary offenses, meaning the officer does not have to see you commit another violation to stop you.
-Currently the commission of either of these violations will not be reported to the Department of Licensing, so your insurance rates generally will not be impacted.
-There are some exemptions to the cell phone and texting law such as reporting an emergency or illegal activity (for example reporting a suspected drunk driver).
-Even if you are stopped at a traffic light, it is still illegal to text while behind the wheel.
-It is illegal to hold a phone to your ear while driving, but you may be permitted to hold a phone in one hand and use speaker phone. Using a cell phone with a hands-fee device is permitted under the cell phone law (except if you are a driver under 18 with a permit or intermediate license- see below).
-You can legally text if you pull over to the side of the road, but drivers can be ticketed if they pull over on a limited access freeway.
-Reading emails or checking the web on a phone/ blackberry while driving is not permitted.
-It is generally permitted to use a voice operated navigation system that is affixed to the vehicle.
-You can currently use your iPad or iPod type device if you driving is not impacted.
-Drivers under 18 with a permit or intermediate license are generally not permitted to use any wireless device while driving. This includes hand-free devices.
All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The authors disclaim any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein. Legal advice should be sought directly from a properly retained lawyer or attorney. Each situation is different, so prior results should not create an expectation of the results of your case. We do not guarantee a specific result in any case. Unless otherwise stated, the information on this site is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.