“If you’re driving down the road and you change lanes without signaling, a cop pulls you over for an illegal lane change and then notices that you’re drinking Starbucks, you’re applying makeup, you’re smoking, and you’re on your phone, they will then hit you with a giant fine,” KIRO Radio’s John Curley said on the Tom and Curley Show.
The grace period for Washington’s distracted driving law is now over. Aside from cell phone use, there are a variety of activities you can get ticketed for doing. Those include eating, smoking, reading, putting on makeup, and taking photographs.
“Oh and there’s one more thing, spinning yarn,” Curley joked.
“This is the one that’s going to get you, John. Grooming,” KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney added.
Troopers have been handing out warnings for the last six months, but people still seem a little confused about what you can and cannot do under the law, Tangney said.
Although texting and holding a cellphone to your ear has already been outlawed, the new law disallows any phone use that requires more than a touch or swipe. No holding your phone and no reading messages or typing a number into a mounted phone either.
“Right now, the idea is you cannot be on your phone under any circumstances,” Tangney said. “If you are eating or drinking while you’re driving they can’t pull you over for that, but if they see you with a phone and you’re drinking coffee or smoking a cigar or whatever, you can get in trouble.”
The first time you get pulled over for distracted driving, it’s a $136 ticket. The second time, it’s $234.
If you get pulled over for another offense and a trooper notices you are posting photos to social media or eating a sandwich, you can be fined an additional $99.