Sunnyside police enforcing new text/cell phone law

Yesterday (Thursday) the Sunnyside Police Department began enforcing Washington's newly-revised law restricting the use of wireless devices by motorists.

Under the newly-revised law, texting or improper cell phone use are considered primary offenses; meaning that drivers can now be pulled over for those offenses alone.

Texting while driving has been against the law since 2008, cell phone use was considered a secondary offense, so officers had to see a different violation in order to make a traffic stop.

The revised law also prohibits the use of electronic devices by younger drivers with an intermediate driver's license or learner's permit with or without a hands-free device.

Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck reminds citizens, "There are exemptions to this law including those wearing hearing aids and those reporting an emergency to 9-1-1. Exemptions will be inquired about after the stop has been made and Sunnyside police will do everything they can to get those people back on the road quickly and safely."

The Sunnyside Police Department also reminds citizens improper use of a cell phone or texting while driving does warrant a $124 ticket in the state of Washington.


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