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Washington first state to ban texting while driving

Chris Ziegler
May 14, 2007
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Following up on a prior threat, Washington has put its legislative rubber to the road to become the first state to turn texting drivers into criminals. While the safety of handsfree voice calling continues to be a source of controversy, texting behind the wheel is a pretty boneheaded move any way you slice it -- seeing how it robs you of your eyes, your hands, and your attention -- so we applaud Washington's stance here. For the time being, though, it's more of a symbolic move since the state's politicians gave the law virtually no bite to back up its bark; besides the relatively light $101 fine, DWT is a secondary offense, meaning that a driver already needs to be nailed for something else (say, speeding) to get thrown the book. Maybe a little time in the pokey would get violators on the straight and narrow?

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