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Saturday, October 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Put down your cellphone. Holding devices while driving will be illegal beginning July 23 in Washington

In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, a driver uses her mobile phone while sitting in traffic in Sacramento, Calif. Washington drivers will soon be prohibited from holding cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, a driver uses her mobile phone while sitting in traffic in Sacramento, Calif. Washington drivers will soon be prohibited from holding cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

OLYMPIA – Washington drivers will soon be prohibited from holding cellphones or other electronic devices while driving.

The Olympian newspaper reported that Washington’s new, tougher distracted driving law goes into effect July 23. It prohibits motorists from holding an electronic device – including phones, tablets and other devices – while driving, including while in traffic or waiting for a traffic light to change.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure into law in May but vetoed a section that had the measure taking effect in 2019. The law will now go into effect July 23.

Under the measure, “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving will still be allowed.

Current state law only prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving.

Oregon lawmakers approved a similar bill last month.

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