Holding cellphones while driving will be banned July 23

(TRIBUNE MEDIA)

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — Washington drivers will soon be prohibited from holding cellphones or other electronic devices while driving.

The Olympian newspaper reports that Washington’s new tougher, distracted driving law goes into effect July 23. It prohibits motorists from holding an electronic device — including phones, tablets and other devices — while driving, including while in traffic or waiting for a traffic light to change.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure into law in May but vetoed a section that had the measure taking effect in 2019.

The law will now go into effect July 23.

Under the measure, “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving will still be allowed.

Current state law only prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving.

Oregon lawmakers approved a similar bill last month.