SB 6227 revises Washington State’s current cell phone laws to bring them in line with federal grant criteria. This ensures that the maximum amount of federal funds are made available to important safety programs.
Additionally, SB 6227 defines the terms ‘operate a motor vehicle’ and ‘personal wireless communications device’. It expands upon existing law by stating that a person operating a motor vehicle who, by means of a personal wireless communications device, reads or manually enters data including, but not limited to, short message service, texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication, is guilty of a traffic infraction. Further, questions on distracted driving shall be incorporated into the driver licensing exam.
Substitute bill: Technical changes were made and clarifications were added. The exceptions from the restrictions on holding a personal wireless communications device related to individuals wearing hearing aids and using hands-free devices were removed. The exception for commercial motor vehicle operators and school bus drivers as otherwise permitted in law was removed.