Friday, April 19, 2024

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Drivers beware: New ‘E-DUI’ law takes effect

It can be so tempting.

You’re behind the wheel, stopped at a red light; you’ve got about 30 seconds to kill. Next to you, often just inches away, your cellphone beckons. Your car isn’t moving, so what the harm in firing off a quick text or checking your email, right? In fact, it could cost you plenty.

Starting today, drivers caught holding a cellphone or any other electronic device while stopped at a red light or intersection will be subject to a $136 fine under Washington’s strict new “E-DUI” law. The fine for repeat offenses within five years is $234.

Drivers who are pulled over and found carrying out other types of “dangerously distracted” behavior such as grooming, smoking, eating or reading can also receive a secondary fine of $99.

The new law does allow “minimal use of a finger” to activate an app or device, so a single touch or swipe is still permitted.

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