Drivers Not Obeying New Cell Phone Law Yet - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drivers Not Obeying New Cell Phone Law Yet

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KENNEWICK, Wash.- Among the new state laws going into effect Tuesday is a ban on using handheld cell phones while driving.

KNDU wanted to know how well people are obeying the new law on it's first day so we hung out here on the corner of Edison and Clearwater for an hour Tuesday and took a count.

On a day when 10 and 2 was supposed to be the norm,10 and, well, cell, seemed more appropriate.

"I think it's great, we got rear ended last week from someone on the phone on the blue bridge, so, you know, people need to get off the phone," said Kenneth Robinson.

To find out how people are complying we set up with the cameras rolling to catch people in the act.

Among them, a woman chatting on her cell phone as her kids sat in car seats in the back. 

And a man, who like many others, quickly hung up when we turned the cameras on him.

Or driver number three, who was using his hands free kit, but holding it in his hand.

"Actually I don't have any ambitions of getting a ticket while talking on the phone to somebody, so, that's just something I don't want to pay for," said driver Rich Truitt.

Counting every driver that passed by on the phone, the numbers may scare you.

In an hour, 37 drivers went by on their cells, easy pickings for a $124 ticket.

"Wow, yeah, I'm definitely going to turn off my cell phone when I get in the car," said Siera Madrigal.

Some drivers are scared the new law could backfire.

"If they see a cop or whatever I really think they're gonna try and hide it and it might be a problem worse than what we've got now," noted Darwin Kniep. 

The simple lesson here is if your going to use a cell phone while driving, hang it up, or use a hands free kit, it'll cost you a few bucks but still a lot cheaper than the ticket if you get caught without it.

The law is a secondary violation, meaning police have to pull you over for something else to get the ticket.  

KNDU will make sure to check back in in a month to see if those numbers from our time on the corner drop at all.

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