Wash. House approves tougher texting while driving laws - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. House approves tougher texting while driving laws

OLYMPIA, Wash.- Texting while driving could get you pulled over under a bill approved by the state House. The definition of texting under the bill includes reading, writing or sending text messages. The bill also says drivers under 18 can be pulled over for texting or using a cell phone of any kind, even if they're using a headset. There's an exception for emergencies.

The state's current ban on making calls with a handheld cell phone while driving would remain a secondary offense, meaning police can write up the $124 ticket only if they stop a driver for some other offense. Washington is one of six states that have passed laws regulating cell phone use by drivers.

Its not as strict as the original plan from the state Senate, and senators will have to decide if they agree with the changes. The bill passed the House on an 86-12 vote Wednesday night.

Political analysts say its just a matter of time now before Governor Gregoire signs this measure into law, especially since new poll results show one in five people admit to texting while driving, and more than 40 percent say they still use their cell phones in the car.

 

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