Using cell phone while driving could become primary offense - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Using cell phone while driving could become primary offense

DES MOINES, Wash. – A state senator says she plans to introduce a bill this month that, if passed, would make using a cell phone while driving a primary offense.  Currently, a driver must commit another traffic violation – like speeding or running a red light – in order to be pulled over and ticketed for using a cell phone.

"I know how dangerous it is and safety is the issue." says Senator Tracey Eide. "We're also making it that anyone that has a learners permit or intermediate license can not use their phones at all."

The bill also includes a total ban texting while driving. She points to studies that show texting drivers are as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers.

A Pew Research poll shows 26% of American teens between 16 and 17 say they’ve texted while behind the wheel, and 48% of kids aged 12 to 17 say they’ve been passengers in a car while the driver used a cell phone to send or receive texts.

Eide will introduce the bill this month at the start of the legislative session. 

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