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New distracted driving bill headed to governor’s desk

SEATTLE, Wash. – State lawmakers have passed a bill intended to crack down on drivers using electronic devices on the road.

Senate Bill 5289, coined the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act, was passed Wednesday in Olympia.

Currently, the law forbids texting and holding a phone to your ear while driving. The new legislation tackles streaming video and social media applications that for now remains legal.

The new legislation would set fines at $136 and up to $245 for a second infraction.

If signed by Governor Jay Inslee the new law would take effect in 2019.

Distracted drivers accounted for the most number of fatalities and serious injury accidents on Washington roadways in 2015. State officials reported 551 deaths on Washington roadways that year, up 20 percent from 2014.