Washington state just passed some of the most restrictive distracted driving laws in the country. Would you like to see similar laws here in Minnesota?


According to this Seattle TV station story, it's now illegal in the state of Washington to even HOLD an electronic device while driving. That's right -- even HOLDING it can get you a ticket!

The story says "The distracted driving law means drivers may not use hand-held cell phones while driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light. This includes tablets, laptops, games or other hand-held electronic devices. Drivers cannot watch movies while driving. Hands-free use is limited to a single touch or swipe."

But, wait-- there's more. The story goes on to say that "As part of the new distracted driving law, drivers who can also get a $99 ticket for other types of distractions such as grooming, smoking, eating or reading if the activity interferes with safe driving and drivers are pulled over for another traffic offense."

Wow. I get that distracted driving is a big problem, and that people on their mobile devices is mainly to blame. And while it's always been illegal to do any activity -- like eating a burger, tuning the radio, or even trying to talk to your kids in the backseat -- that interferes with your ability to drive your vehicle, these new Washington laws seem a bit harsh.

Heck, even our current Minnesota law that makes it illegal to check your phone even while you're stopped in traffic or at a red light seems a bit much to me. But maybe that's just me. What do you think?

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