People hiding their phones while driving are more dangerous - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

People hiding their phones while driving are more dangerous

People hiding their phones while driving are more dangerous

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KENNEWICK, Wash -- The new no texting and talking while driving law is proving to be dangerous to teen drivers who are still on their phones on the roads.

17 year old Kasey Evans says, "Usually when you put it down low to text,  you're looking at the phone and not straight ahead."  Officer Tony Valdez with the Kennewick Police Department agrees that it's more dangerous to hide a phone on the road than if you were to just text and talk without trying to dodge police officers,  but he does point out it's dangerous to be on the road with a phone overall.  He says people tell all sorts of lies to get out of the $124 ticket. " They don't realize  that we've been watching them for a lot longer than they think, by the time we pull them over, we've usually been watching or following them for a while."

Some officers who cannot prove the driver was on the phone can opt to write out a negligent driving ticket, which costs drivers $500.  Valdez says the City of Kennewick only writes negligent driving tickets if the cell phone use causes car accidents, "If we pull someone over for texting and driving or using the phone and driving and they try to not be truthful to us, we won't write them a negligent driving ticket, we'll write them the citation that we've observed them doing," says Valdez.

He also wants to remind drivers  that the law is a "hands free Law," meaning being on Speakerphone and still holding a phone can get you a ticket.  That choice is up to the officer who pulls you over.

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