OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington drivers will now have to put down their cell phones under a new distracted driving law.
The law that went into effect Sunday prohibits drivers from holding electronic devices — including phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets — while behind the wheel. That means no reading incoming text messages while driving, or watching a quick video while stuck in traffic or sitting at a red light.
Texting or holding a phone to your ear is already against the law.
Under the measure, “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving will still be allowed.
The standard traffic fine of $136 would apply to a first offense. It would increase to about $234 for a second offense.