Washington distracting driving cell phone law: Questions and answers to common questions

by: KIRO 7 News Staff

Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

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The new distracted driving law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee goes into effect July 23.

People driving under the influence of personal electronic devices will be fined $136.

Current law prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving. The new law is an effort to include updated functions of smartphones and other electronic devices that could distract drivers. Washington State Patrol says there will be a grace period of six months starting July 23.

Here are answers from the State Patrol to common questions about the new law:

Can I use a phone with a Bluetooth earpiece/GPS?

Bluetooth is allowed, but drivers should start GPS or music before they start driving.

Will officers be able to check my phone?

Officers will not check your phone when they pull you over.

What if I was looking down, but not at my phone? How will troopers check?

The driver must be seen by a law enforcement official with their phone or device in…

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