|Primary Enforcement Expected for Washington State Cell Phone Law|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
|Thursday, 18 March 2010 13:39|
School bus drivers who use hand-held cell phones while operating their vehicles with children on board — or without — face steeper civil or criminal penalties if caught by police. And that's not to mention what could happen to their job for the school district.
Allan J. Jones, the director of pupil transportation at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, said the existing law governs school bus drivers, and they would be expected to adhere to the amended law if signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire.
"There's isn't any exemption saying it's OK for a school bus driver to use a cell phone," he added. "We certainly wouldn't want our school bus drivers using a cell phone held to their ears while driving."
At this writing, Gov. Gregoire had yet to sign SB 6345 that passed the state senate last week to change the existing law banning all drivers from using hand-held wireless communication devices while driving any vehicle.The bill also removes the previous language that using a hand-held cell phone was only a secondary enforcement law for police and made the infraction a primary enforcement law.
NHTSA has said that states with primary enforcement traffic laws have lower crash fatality rates than states that do not.
Specifically, the law does state that hand-held cell phones may be used to report illegal activity, in an emergency or to prevent injury to a person or property. Otherwise, they would need to be operated using hands-free technology.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 14:40|