Starting in January 2008, it will be illegal to text while driving in Washington State. The measure signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire also bans talking on a cellphone without a hands-free device while driving. Violators will be punished with a fine, but only if first pulled over for another reason.
Under the new laws, drivers who read and compose text messages or talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device could face a $101 ticket. The text-messaging ban takes effect Jan. 1; the cell-phone law will be enforced starting in July 2008.
Drivers will be exempt in “some situations, including emergencies.” — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Cell phone bill, text message ban signed into law [AP]