It looks like an entire state population may be forced to buy a hands free cell phone device come July. At least the portion of the population that uses a cell phone while driving. The state of Washington passed a law in the 2008 legislative session banning the use of cell phones while driving unless a hands free device is used. The law takes effect in July. The offense is categorized as a secondary offense, meaning you can’t be pulled over just for a violation of this new law. You need to have some other improper driving going on before you can be stopped and ticketed for this offense. Text messaging while driving is already illegal in Washington. Now just using your cell phone joins the list of illegal activities. Many studies have shown drivers become distracted while using cell phones. The law’s intent is to make the highways safer. It may have a secondary effect. If you find yourself involved in an accident, someone may argue you were distracted and point out your actions violated a state law. Even if you were blameless, your violation of this new law may be used to argue you were at least partly at fault. Any attorney representing an accident victim will likely raise this allegation if the facts are there. Looks like it’s time to visit your local phone store to purchase the hands free device. I wonder if the company who sells these had any hand in lobbying for the new law.
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