Cell phone laws may be tightened

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 6:50 PM

SEATTLE - Is driving while holding a cell phone to you ear dangerous? Washington State Senator Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, put it to the test. Currently, officers can issue a cell phone ticket only after stopping a driver for another offense, like speeding or running a light. Under Eide's proposed bill, cell phone use by a driver would be a primary offense, meaning you could get stopped just for having a phone to your ear.

"It will make people put their cell phones down, go wireless, and focus on driving that much more," said Captain Steve Burns of the Washington State Patrol. 

On Wednesday, Sen. Eide and Swerve driving school set up a demonstration obstacle course at the Qwest Field parking lot. People tried to drive through the course while on their cell phones.

Eide hit several cones.

"This is why I don't drive with a cell phone to my ear," she said.

Studies show that driving while on the phone is like driving drunk.

The bill would also ban texting while driving.

Eide will introduce her bill when the legislative session begins later this month.

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