Washington drivers: no grace period offered for new cell phone ban

The Washington State Patrol announced today that there will be no grace period for drivers texting or talking while driving when failing to use a hands-free device becomes a primary traffic offense on June 10.

“We will fully enforce this law from day one,” WSP Chief John R. Batiste

While it’s common for state patrol to offer a period of time for drivers to break habits when new laws take effect, Batiste says drivers have had two years to adjust.

Laws prohibiting distracted driving behaviors actually took effect June 2008. The new law, though, makes distracted driving a primary offense, meaning law enforcement officers need to see no other infraction at hand in order to pull drivers over.

Since 2008, Washington State Patrol has issued 3,000 tickets and about 5,900 warnings regarding the cell phone ban. Drivers caught in the act risk a $124 fine.