Earlier this week the Washington State House Transportation Committee passed through SB 6345, a new bill that would further prohibit cell phone use while driving, making having a phone in your hand a primary offense subject to traffic stops and a $124 fine, with the sole exception of emergency use only.
In July 2008 legislators made the use of handheld devices while driving a secondary offense, meaning police could only dock you for it if they see another violation before initiating a traffic stop. If passed, this law would make Washington the fifth state to elevate holding a cell phone while driving to a primary offense, alongside the District of Columbia.
36th District Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D), who is behind companion bill HB 2635 that would make texting while driving specifically a primary offense, has thrown his support behind SB 6345.
“I am excited that the House Transportation Committee has passed this bill. Parents and other volunteer citizen activists worked incredibly hard along with Sen. Eide and me for many, many months, and I look forward to doing all that I can to get this bill through the House,” Carlyle said in a written statement.