(1)(a) Except as provided in subsection (2)(a) of this section, a person operating a moving noncommercial motor vehicle who, by means of an electronic wireless communications device, sends, reads, or writes a text message, is guilty of a traffic infraction.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2)(b) of this section, a person driving a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in RCW 46.25.010
, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, who, by means of an electronic wireless communications device, sends, reads, or writes a text message, is guilty of a traffic infraction. For purposes of this subsection, "driving" does not include operating a commercial motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the driver has moved the vehicle to the side of, or off, a highway and has stopped in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.
(c) A person does not send, read, or write a text message when he or she reads, selects, or enters a phone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making a phone call.
(2)(a) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to a person operating:
(i) An authorized emergency vehicle;
(ii) A voice-operated global positioning or navigation system that is affixed to the vehicle and that allows the user to send or receive messages without diverting visual attention from the road or engaging the use of either hand; or
(iii) A moving motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to:
(A) Report illegal activity;
(B) Summon medical or other emergency help;
(C) Prevent injury to a person or property; or
(D) Relay information that is time sensitive between a transit or for-hire operator and that operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the vehicle.
(b) Subsection (1)(b) of this section does not apply to a person operating a commercial motor vehicle when necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services.
(3) Infractions under subsection (1)(a) of this section shall not become part of the driver's record under RCW 46.52.101
. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under subsection (1)(a) of this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers.
[2013 c 224 § 16; 2010 c 223 § 4; 2007 c 416 § 1.]
Effective date—2007 c 416: "This act takes effect January 1, 2008." [2007 c 416 § 2.]