Washington state strengthens ban on cell phone use while driving

April 1, 2010

Lawmakers in Washington state recently strengthened a law that makes talking or texting on a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device a primary offense.

Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) on March 26 signed into law Senate Bill 6345 (.pdf file), effective June 1, which will allow law enforcement to pull over a driver who is in violation of the law. In 2008, Washington became the first state to pass a law that made it illegal to use a cell phone while driving without hands-free technology and made enforcement a secondary offense, meaning officers are allowed to ticket for violations only after stopping the motorist for another offense.