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Tag: cell phones


Eide gets her way: Stronger cell-phone crackdown passes

The final day of the legislative session brought Sen. Tracey Eide a victory on her top priority – a crackdown on driving while talking on the phone.

A bill that didn’t have the votes in the House to pass last week won easy approval there tonight, 60-37.

The House passed the tougher Senate version of the bill allowing police to pull over drivers for using a phone handset to talk or send a text message. Both are already illegal, but are secondary offenses, meaning police can only ticket drivers for them if they’ve pulled them over for speeding or some other violation. They will become primary offenses if Gov. Chris Gregoire signs the bill.

Last week, the House voted to make texting, not talking on a phone, a primary offense. But it backed down today, with many Democrats and some Republicans supporting a full ban on all use of a handheld phone. Both versions also ban all phone use in cars for teenagers, including for voice-operated phones.

Eide said last week she was disappointed but figured she had to compromise to get anything.

But today she said she had wanted all along to fight, but didn’t want to give away her game plan. It took a lot of behind the scenes work, she said.

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Cell phone bill heads to negotiations

The Senate has refused to go along with the House’s watered-down version of cell-phone restrictions for drivers.

The bill coming from back from the House bans phone use by young drivers and allows police to pull over drivers for text messaging – but not for making phone calls.

Sen. Tracey Eide told me just before the House vote she’d reluctantly go along despite wanting to keep cell phone handsets out of drivers’ hands altogether, but she and fellow senators decided to fight.

Now we’ll see if they can work out a deal before the end of the

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Cell phone ban remains whole

The proposed cell phone ban for drivers weaved around an attempt to dilute it today in the House Transportation Committee.

Rep. Dan Roach proposed eliminating the part of the bill that allows police to pull people over for talking on a handheld phone while driving. Drivers now can’t be ticketed for phone use unless they have been pulled over for another violation, like speeding.

Roach said a cell phone conversation is no different from talking to a passenger, eating or putting on lipstick, all of which are legal.

The committee rejected the amendment on a voice vote, then

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