In shocking news (hopefully the sarcasm oozes through the computer screen and onto you), Washington State Troopers today have admitted the law prohibiting motorists from talking on their cell phones while driving is largely being ignored.
The law, signed into law last year, makes it a Seattle traffic ticket to use a cell phone while driving, unless a hands free device is being used. Well, duh.
Why Isn’t Anyone Following the New Cell Phone Law?
What makes the law useless is that it is a secondary offense. This means that unless the police pull you over for something else (speeding, inattentive driving, failing to yield, etc.) they cannot cite you for the cell phone law (allegedly – ask any traffic lawyer and they’ll tell you they see these tickets all the time).
In reality it makes this law nonexistent.
Proof that the Washington State Cell Phone Ticket Law Sucks
That is reflected in the traffic citation numbers. For example, in Olympia, although 300,000 speeding tickets were issued, only 1600, or .005% of speeding stops, resulted in a cell phone traffic ticket.
The lesson here is to know what your secondary traffic violations are. If you are cited for a secondary traffic violation and nothing else, don’t call us – you don’t need our help. The ticket isn’t reported to DOL and your insurance is not affected.
About Christopher Small: I’m an attorney at Emerald City Law Group, and the author of the Emerald City Traffic Defense Blog. If you’ve got a speeding ticket and need it taken care of, give us a call at 206.651.4245.