Washington Hands-Free Law: Where to Mount Your Phone in Your Car

Washington Hands-Free Law: Where to Mount Your Phone in Your Car

The state of Washington implemented one of the stronger hands-free laws in the nation in July 2017, forbidding almost all use of handheld electronics while driving. This new law closes loopholes from previous legislation and also makes other driving distractions secondary offenses, meaning there’s a lot to learn.

Here’s what you need to know about what the new law restricts, where you can mount your favorite device and available vehicle mounts to get compliant.

The New Washington State Hands-Free Law

Under RCW 46.61.672 (“Using a Personal Electronic Device While Driving”), it’s illegal to hold an electronic device — phones, tablets, laptops, game systems — while driving. This includes when your vehicle is stopped in traffic, such as at a traffic light. However, built-in electronic systems like Bluetooth hands-free calling and navigation remain legal to use. If you’re cited, the Washington fines are much higher compared to the California hands-free law: $136 for the first citation and $235 for a second citation within five years.

There are two major exceptions to using your electronic device while driving. First, if your device is in a mounted cradle you’re allowed to use a single touch or swipe to start an app (think navigation or music). Second, the hands-free law does not apply to calling 911 in an emergency.

Under RCW 46.61.673 (“Dangerously Distracted Driving”), distractions like putting on make-up or eating are secondary offenses. That means if you get pulled over for speeding, you’ll be fined more if you’re also cited for a secondary offense.

So Where Can You Mount Your Phone in Your Car?

If a windshield mount is obstructing your vision while driving, then it’s technically illegal to use it in Washington state. However, there are plenty of mounting solutions other than windshield mounts. For example, you can mount your device to your dash, cup holder or floor — just check out the mounts below. 

Recommendations for Mounting Your Phone

If you need to mount your device in your car or truck, RAM® Mounts offers industry leading vehicle mounts for phones, tablets, GPS devices and more. Below are some recommended dash, cup holder and Tough-Wedge mounts intended to help Washington drivers become compliant with the hands-free law. 

Dash Mounts

Cup Holder Mounts

Tough-Wedge™ Mounts

What do you think of Washington state’s hands-free law? Let us know in the comments!

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