How WSP is dealing with new distracted driving law - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How WSP is dealing with new distracted driving law

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WASHINGTON - It's been about 4 months since Washington's new distracted driving law went into effect, but is it working? We checked in with Washington State Patrol to get the answer.

Interestingly enough, Trooper Chris Thorson tells us they actually haven't been writing tickets for people violating the new law.

Instead, State Patrol has been spending the past few months tracking how people are adapting and making sure everyone is aware of the new law.

As a reminder, you cannot hold your phone at all while driving; even if you're at a stop light. And though they haven't been issuing tickets yet, that's not going to last much longer.

"We've always had a cell phone law in the past in Washington state, but now, starting January 1st, the State Patrol is going to start issuing citations for holding your cell phone and using it while driving," Trooper Thorson said.

Especially with Thanksgiving travel right around the corner, troopers are asking that everyone be extra careful while driving.

And when it comes to eating or drinking while driving, Trooper Thorson says it is illegal to eat or drink while driving, but only if it is causing you to drive dangerously. It is a secondary offense, meaning officers need another reason to pull you over. So as long as you're being safe, you can still drink your coffee on your way into work. 

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