Dec 25

Jon Zimmerman

New Text-Messaging While Driving Ban to Start on January 1, 2008

by Jon Zimmerman

Beginning January 1, 2008, drivers in the State of Washington face a traffic ticket if caught reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving.  This especially will affect  drivers who work at Microsoft and other high-tech companies as these drivers often employ wireless technology while on the road. There are a few exceptions (affirmative defenses) to committing this infraction, such as sending a message to summon help in an emergency, but many if not most drivers caught texting while driving will face a ticket. However, there is some good news about this type of ticket, and some bad news. The good news first - this type of ticket (or infraction in legal lingo) is a "secondary infraction," meaning that a police officer has to have another reason to pull you over (speeding, unsafe lane change, etc.).  Also good news is that state law prohibits this type of infraction from being reported to insurance companies. So what's the bad news?  If you get cited for texting while driving, you'll likely end up cited for a second infraction - that is, the speeding ticket or driving on the shoulder ticket or other type of primary moving violation that got you pulled over in the first place.  Now you'll have two infractions to deal with and one that can affect your insurance. If you should receive a texting ticket with some other type of violation, please call me for a free consultation.


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