State law prohibits drivers from using handheld cell phones while operating a vehicle. Drivers may not use handheld cell phones when temporarily stopped, as for a stop signal or in heavy traffic, but must pull over to the side of traffic lanes or off a highway.Calls on handheld devices to report an emergency are permitted (WA Rev. Code Sec. 46.61.667).
Drivers under the age of 18 may not use any type of cell phone.
State law prohibits all drivers from writing, sending, or reading text messages while operating a vehicle. Sending text messages to report an emergency is permitted (WA Rev. Code Sec. 46.61.668).
Fines for texting while driving are increased when the texting is determined to be the cause of a traffic accident.