"Outdated" WA Distracted Driving Laws To Get Update In 2015
Washington had been on the forefront of distracted driving laws less than a decade ago, but as technology advances some of those laws have become outdated.
NBCRightNow.com - Washington had been on the forefront of distracted driving laws less than a decade ago, but as technology advances some of those laws have become outdated.
In 2013 over 20,000 people in Washington were pulled over for phone related distraction. Less than half of those actually resulted in tickets.
Troopers tell NBC Right Now it's partially thanks to the outdated laws that allow them to pull you over if they think you're distracted, but only ticket you if it's clear you were texting or had a phone to your ear. No laws restrict web browsing or using your phone for other purposes in WA.
"The first stop that I ever made of a person who was texting while driving...when I contacted him the first thing he said to me was, 'I wasn't texting I was just looking at my calendar to see if I have an appointment this morning',” said Lieutenant Tom Foster of the Washington State Patrol.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is pushing new legislation to crack down on using your phone behind the wheel. It would broaden the scope of what troopers and officers could ticket drivers for.
Already the Washington State Patrol has backed the new legislation that could pass as early as January. The new legislation would also make Washington eligible for more federal highway safety grants.