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The Washington State House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill earlier this week that makes typing and sending text messages on cell phones or BlackBerries a traffic offense if done while driving.

House Bill 1214 states, “A person operating a moving motor vehicle while reading, manually writing, or sending a text message on an electronic wireless communications device is guilty of a traffic infraction.” If the bill is approved by the state’s Senate, Washington State Patrol may cite drivers with a second-degree negligent driving offense if they are observed committing the act, which typically results in a fine of $111. The bill was sponsored by Representatives Joyce McDonald and Dawn Morrell.

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