Beginning July 23, it will be illegal for Washington drivers to use hand-held electronic devices while driving.

The new law makes it against the law to use a handheld personal electronic device, such as a cell phone, tablet, laptop or video game, while driving. The law applies even if you’re stopped at a traffic sign/signal or stuck in traffic.

What’s illegal:

  • Holding a personal electronic device.
  • Using a hand or finger to compose, send, read, view, access, browse, transmit, save, or retrieve electronic mail (email), text messages, instant messages, photographs or other electronic data.
  • Watching a video on an electronic device.

According to Washington Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015 in Washington, and one-quarter of all crashes involved a cell phone in use just prior to the crash.