New cell phone law starts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New cell phone law starts

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The new cell phone law started Thursday. It's now a primary offense to have a phone to your ear or texting while driving. Some people are all for it while others think it's just a scam to take your money.

Sergeant Ken Lattin for the Kennewick Police department says in the last year there were over 150 tickets issued for people using their phone, and now the number could go up.

"The only thing it changes is now it's a primary violation. Now when I see it I don't have to wait for another violation to occur to stop them," said Lattin.

But Lattin wants people to know that just because it's a new law, it doesn't mean police are out to get you.

"For us we don't have any special emphasis planned. We have been enforcing this law since it originated a couple of years ago. So nothing different for us."

But many people are unhappy about the new law saying it's just another ploy for the state to take their money. Lattin says it's not like that at all.

"People say that that's the great myth, we are doing this to generate revenue, it doesn't generate revenue, every ticket we write costs us money."

If caught using your phone a ticket will cost you $124. Lattin says of that money, only $12 to $20 goes to the local agency. The rest of the money goes to courts, counties and different programs across the state.

"When you look at the cost for an officer to be out here issuing a ticket it doesn't even really pay for issuing a ticket."

Lattin says right now people seem to be obeying the law. But the law just started, he says give it time and people will be back to their old habits.