Spokane Realtors and Washington State New Cell Phone Law

By: Jim Grapes

On July 1, 2008 Washington State's new ban on cell phone use went into effect. Anyone who has experienced an accident or near accident with someone who was talking on a cell phone while driving is likely to be pleased. It is also illegal to text while driving. Apparently it is difficult to watch the road and the little buttons on a phone at the same time. With this new law Washington has joined four other states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York) in banning their use while driving. Now, Washingtonians must use an ear piece if they must drive and talk on the phone. It is permissible to press the answer button, but that's all.

While California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York all have driving and talking on a cell phone as a primary offense, it is only a secondary offense in Washington. A police officer must observe some other driving infraction to give a citation and then may add the cell phone use as an additional charge.

As an interesting coincidence, I was walking my Airedale Terrier for her three mile walk along the river road the other day, two days into the new law becoming effective, and was nearly hit by hit by three different drivers who all happened to be talking on the phone. I had to laugh to myself and say, well if I don't like their driving I can stay off the sidewalk.

Realtors and other sales people who spend a lot of time driving will feel the effect of this law. The cell phone has become ubiquitous and essential for those who must stay in communication at all times in order to earn a living. Customers do not want to have to wait for information in this day and age.

Cell phone kiosks and wireless stores have been doing blockbuster business in wireless Blue Tooth headsets. Many people wonder what took so long. Why did it take an act of legislature to drive safely and respectfully of other people on the road. I know my wife said I could drive and text a long time ago.

To all of you sales people and realtors, especially you who drive in Spokane Washington selling all that real estate get a wireless headset soon. Otherwise you may have a $101 additional fine to your otherwise ignorable driving offenses. Now all we have to worry about is the cancer causing radio frequencies looped over the ear all day.

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