Friday, July 16, 2010

A cell phone infraction while driving in WA does NOT affect your insurance rates (but don't do it)

We've been fielding some questions today about cell phones and driving in Washington state, due to an apparent glitch in enforcing the new law. In some cities, cited drivers are reportedly having their infractions voided due to the glitch.

All of which leads to the logical question: What if people's insurance rates went up as a result?

The good news: They didn't. The state's cell phone law was updated earlier this year to make driving while talking on a cell phone a primary offense. (That means you can be pulled over for that alone.) But the law includes sections explicitly stating that:
Infractions under this section shall not become part of the driver's record under RCW 46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.
The upshot: Your insurance rates won't go up for a cell phone violation while driving.

Still, know this: If you're gabbing on the phone and cause an accident, that could be a very different story.

Our advice: follow the law. Put the cell phone down.

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