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E-DUI emphasis patrol in effect across state for two weeks

(File, Associated Press)

Starting Monday, law enforcement agencies across Washington began watching more intently for drivers using electronics while driving.

Rantz: Cops should ignore E-DUI ticketing

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced extra statewide patrols that will focus on distracted driving from April 2 to 14.

Over 150 agencies will be participating in the crackdown, which will emphasize the state’s new E-DUI law.

If drivers are caught holding a cellphone, watching videos, using a tablet or holding any handheld electronic device, they will be subject to a $136 ticket for the first offense. It also includes those stopped in traffic or at a stoplight.

Drivers who receive a second E-DUI citation within five years will be fined $234.

Also it’s important to note that information on all cellphone infractions will be made available to insurance companies, meaning premiums could increase for those who are caught breaking the law.

The commission said cellphone use while driving increases the risk of crashing by three times.

The law does allow for hands-free use of a device or operating a mounted device with just a single touch.

Since the E-DUI law began in July of last year, there have been nearly 1,500 drivers ticketed each month in the state, the commission said.

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