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Distracted driving emphasis patrols in Washington in April

Over 150 law enforcement agencies will be taking a closer look for people on their phones. A first ticket costs $136.
Credit: nd3000
(Credit: Thinkstock)

There will be extra patrols in April on Washington state roads looking for drivers who are distracted by their smartphones.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has declared April "Distracted Driving Awareness Month," and over 150 law enforcement agencies will be looking closely for people who are using their phones.

Under the “Driving Under the Influence of Electronics" law, also known as E-DUI, drivers may not hold cell phones or watch videos while they are driving, stopped in traffic, or at a stop light. That includes tablets, laptops, games, or any hand-held electronic devices.

The law restricts hands-free use to a single touch.

The commission says nearly 1,500 drivers have been ticketed each month since the E-DUI law began last July.

The first E-DUI ticket will cost drivers $136. A second ticket in five years will cost $234.

A driver's insurance company will also be notified in case of a cell phone ticket.

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