For Immediate Release
June 8, 2011
Cmdr. Chris Tennant
Pullman – Friday June 10th marks the one year anniversary of the state’s updated cell phone and texting laws, which shifted the use of handheld phones or texting to a primary offense. The Pullman Police Department will increase traffic patrols targeting the illegal use of cell phones and text messaging while driving.
State law (RCW 46.61.668) prohibits “texting” while driving which is defined as a person who, “by means of an electronic wireless communications device, sends, reads, or writes a text message.”
State law (RCW 46.61.667) prohibits a person operating a motor vehicle from holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear. Operating a cell phone in “Hands-free mode” is legal. Hands-free mode includes the use of a speaker phone, headset or earpiece. It is legal to use a wireless communications device to report illegal activity, summon medical or other emergency help, or prevent injury to a person or property.
The cell phone and texting laws are both primary offenses, which means an officer can pull you over for an observed violation. The penalty for a violation is $124.
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