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New Wa Distracted Driving Law

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MrSpokaneValue

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Washington
Good morning fellow appraisers - as of 07/23, here in Washington State it is now a crime to hold your cell phone or any other device that may be viewed as a distraction while driving. That essentially turns an everyday task (ie shooting comps) that we all rely on for our business into a crime punishable by a fine of $136 for a first offense and $235 for any subsequent offense. This is also a reported offense, meaning that your car insurance will likely increase if you get ticketed for doing your job. Not to mention that multiple citations for DUI (which is how this is new law is categorized) will eventually get your license revoked.

I have been in contact with the local Police Departments here in Spokane and in Spokane Valley, and so far they have no answer other than to physically leave the vehicle to photograph each and every comparable. I for one have been chased down by enough crazy people that I'm certainly not thrilled with the idea of walking down a sidewalk to photograph houses.

How do you all feel about this? Do you think there should be some sort of waiver that would allow certain professions to continue to use some electronics during the course of normal business? I'd appreciate any comments that you have as I continue to look into how we can get through this. Cheers!
 

Mark K

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Indiana
With all of the F'n morons checking FB, email, texting, etc. while driving, I think the fine should be a lot more than that. I'm thinking mandatory 48 hrs. in jail would be a good start. Too many good people getting killed by idiots addicted to their phones.

As far as shooting comp photos, you might have to pull over and stop; not the end of the world.
 

Ken Masla

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
I'm not sure why driving around taking comp pictures are still necessary.

But if your car is not moving, I don't see how you would have broken any laws.

I think the fine should be more stiff. Driving while looking down is sooooo dangerous to other people.
 

Nancy Heiss

Junior Member
Joined
May 9, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I believe the law in CA is that you cannot use your phone even while stopped. It may be the key has to be out of the ignition to use the phone. If you have a regular camera, does the distracted while driving still apply? Pulling over to take a photo with a digital is probably still OK.
 

MrSpokaneValue

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Washington
According to the WA State Patrol, if you're in the driver's seat and the ignition is running, whether you're parked or not, you're breaking the law and subject to a citation.
 

Ken Masla

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
I believe the law in CA is that you cannot use your phone even while stopped. It may be the key has to be out of the ignition to use the phone. If you have a regular camera, does the distracted while driving still apply? Pulling over to take a photo with a digital is probably still OK.

I've had conversations with Police Officers while parked, engine running and my phone in my hand.
 

Ken Masla

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
According to the WA State Patrol, if you're in the driver's seat and the ignition is running, whether you're parked or not, you're breaking the law and subject to a citation.

If you are THAT paranoid,

Get one of those Go Pro or something similar and suction it to your car. Record at 60 Framer per second. Turn it on while driving by. Print screen the footage and put it in your report.
 

MrSpokaneValue

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Washington
Anything that might be seen as a distraction is breaking the law, digital camera included. Physically holding any electronic device, either in your hand or on your lap, violates the new law. Like I said before, I spoke with the public relations officer for the WA State Patrol and as the law currently stands, if you are seated in the driver's seat and the engine is running, and you have an electronic device in your hand, you can expect a ticket and a report to your insurance. Your vehicle doesn't have to be moving or in Drive, just operational. They are instructed to assume intent and will fine you accordingly.
 

MrSpokaneValue

Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Washington
If you are THAT paranoid,

Get one of those Go Pro or something similar and suction it to your car. Record at 60 Framer per second. Turn it on while driving by. Print screen the footage and put it in your report.

Paranoid has nothing to do with it. I was simply starting a discussion regarding the new law in Washington State that will absolutely effect residential appraisers here in Washington.
 
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