One Year After Hands-Free Law Passes, Texting Trend is More Alarming
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- July 1st is one year after the hands-free cell phone law took effect. KNDU stood on the corner of Clearwater Avenue and Edison Street for an hour and counted the number of drivers still holding phone.
July 1, 2009 we counted 57. That's more than the first two times we counted. July 1, 2008, we caught 37. A month after that, 51.
The numbers seem to be going up. One theory is that the first day the law took effect, everyone was aware of it and worried. With time, they've forgotten.
Police say even more alarming than talking on the phone is the increase in people texting behind the wheel. Sergeant Randy Maynard with the Kennewick Police Department explains, "When you're texting, I don't care who you are, you have to look down to text. That completely takes your attention away form operating your motor vehicle. Now you become a risk to yourself and everybody around you."
Talking on your phone or texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning you can only be ticketed if you're pulled over for something else.