Drivers holding a phone behind the wheel will face a $136 ticket

The grace period for Washington’s distracted driving law ended January 1st. Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers will now start ticketing all drivers caught talking, texting, or even holding their phones in the car. The first offense will cost drivers $136. A second ticket will cost $234. These offenses are reportable to insurance companies, which could raise rates like any other moving violation.

Plus, another section of the new law also says a person who engages in “any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle” — like eating or putting on makeup — is subject to pay an additional fine of $99. However it is a secondary offense and only applies if an officer catches a driver being distracted while committing a standard traffic offense, such as running a stop sign because their coffee spilled.

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