Seattle Real Estate News

The honeymoon is over guys! As of  Jan. 23rd 2018, officers are now ticketing drivers found using any electronic device such as cellphones, tables, laptop computers and personal gaming systems while driving.  The law went into effect on July 1st 2017 but most law enforcement agencies have been issuing warning to educate drivers about the new law up until recently.

Effective July 1st 2017 - Washingtonians may no longer use our handheld devices while driving. Here are some options to consider:

a) Belkin Car Vent Mount $24.99 - Most cars have air-conditioning vents with horizontal fins to direct the air. The Belkin Car Vent Mount uses a rubber clip that slides between the fins to hold your phone. The phone is secured to the mount with a universal adjustable bracket that holds phones up to 3.3 inches wide. It opens wide enough to hold an iPhone 7 Plus. The mount also rotates 360 degrees to orient the phone's screen vertically or horizontally and there are cord management clips behind the bracket.

b) Scosche Magic Mount CD $19.99 - If your car has exposed CD slot, you can opt for a mount hat holds itself to the car using that slot. The Scosche Magic Mount CD has rubberized fins that slip into the CD slot. You turn a thumbscrew to tighten the fins and create a secure mount (remove any CDs in the drive before mounting). Scosche also makes a variety of Magic Mounts that use magnets to secure your device.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is banned?
The law forbids handheld uses such as phone calls, texting, composing or reading any kind of message, social media post, photograph or data. Drivers may not use handheld devices while at a stop sign or red-light signal. All video is illegal even in a dashboard or dash-mounting device.

Q. What is legal?
Common built-in electronics including hands-free phones, satellite music and maps are legal. Drivers may turn on a smartphone mounted in a dashboard cradle for limited purposes such as navigation apps or music streaming. The new law permits minimal use of a finger. The idea is for you to activate your phone with one touch so you don't have to look away from your windshield to dial 10 numbers to make a phone call. (Typing a map address while in traffic will be treated as a violation).  Calls to 911 or other emergency services remain legal. The driver must pull away from traffic lanes to where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.

Q. Is driving under the influence of electronics (DUI-E) a primary offense?
Yes - A police officer can pull someone over, merely based on seeing a motorist use a handheld device, type, or watch video.

Q. How much does a ticket cost?
The fine is $136 for the first offence. For additional violations within five years, the fine increases to $234 per citation.

Q. Will a ticket raise my insurance rates?
Probably especially if you've been found guilty of other traffic violations.

Posted in:Laws and tagged: Laws
Posted by Sam Kader on May 29th, 2017 10:05 AM


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