In an effort to produce more revenue for the ‘state,’ Washington has passed legislation limiting what you can do in your vehicle while driving. Of course,t his was done in the name of your safety, but don’t kid yourselves, this is simply another tool in the handy dandy Road Pirate toolbox, meant to make it easier for the Road Pirate to bill you for existing in their space. The governor of Washington has decided to accelerate crackdown on this law, moving up enforcement to begin taking place now, at the end of July.
Read below to learn what you can and cannot do in your vehicle while driving, by order of the crown. Note the tone of the article written, as if the ‘reporter’ were merely a clerk for the ‘state’ the reporter is allegedly simply reporting on.
What drivers can and cannot do under Washington state’s new distracted-driving law
Gov. Jay Inslee surprised even the supporters of a distracted-driving law Tuesday when he accelerated the new crackdown, to take effect in late July.
He vetoed a compromise by the Legislature that would have postponed enforcement of the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics (DUIE) Act until 2019.
The law forbids virtually all use of handheld gadgets such as phones, tablets, laptop computers and gaming devices while driving.
Inslee’s move, during a signing ceremony Tuesday, suddenly puts the state under pressure to mount an education campaign and get more troopers onto the roadways, if there are to be any teeth.
Nearly one-tenth of motorists are holding a device at any given moment, state observation teams have found. That far outnumbers traffic police on the road and raises questions about the law’s chances of success. On the other hand, the state has a history of reducing drunken driving and posting a 95 percent compliance with seat-belt requirements.
Q. When does the law take effect?
A. Approximately July 23, which is 90 days after the Legislature’s regular session adjourned, the governor’s staff say.
“Public safety is better served by implementing this bill this year,” Inslee wrote in his partial-veto message.
Bill sponsor Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, had initially proposed a Jan. 1, 2018, start, and then agreed to a year delay, in negotiations with the House, to give police and drivers more time to prepare.
“Now that the governor has dramatically shortened the timeline, people need to be ready much sooner,” she said in a statement.
Lavera Wade of Spokane Valley, whose grandson Sam Thompson died while texting on Highway 195 near Colfax in 2014, has volunteered to join what will she thinks will be a “fast and furious” outreach. People are talking about distraction, and July 23 arrives soon after a huge wave of news coverage, on both sides of the mountains, she said.
“Nothing’s going to be perfect,” she said, “but my feeling is, doing it this fast is going to make it better.”
Q. What will be banned?
A. Texting is already illegal, as is holding a cellphone at the ear. Drivers constantly flout those rules, or evade them by holding a phone between the legs, or just below the chin.
The new bill forbids handheld uses, including composing or reading any kind of message, picture or data. Photography while driving is illegal.
Drivers also cannot use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal.
Q. What is still legal?
A. Drivers may still use a smartphone mounted in a dashboard cradle, for instance to use a navigation app, but not to watch video. The new law permits “minimal use of a finger” to activate an app or device.
Built-in electronic systems, such as hands-free calling and maps, remain legal.
Calls to 911 or other emergency services are legal, as are urgent calls between transit employees and dispatchers.
Amateur radio equipment and citizens-band radio, remain legal.
Handheld devices may be used if the driver has pulled off the roadway or traffic lanes, where the vehicle “can safely remain stationary.”
Drivers have two months to adapt to the new distracted-driving law, after Gov. Jay Inslee accelerated the start date to July 23, instead of January 2019.
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