No, You Can’t Write a Cop a Ticket for Talking on a Cell PhoneSeptember 16th, 2008 by josh farley
Our opinion editor, Jim Campbell, recently got a letter from Matthews Williams, of Shelton. Williams says this:
“I’m new here, arrived in January 2005, so I’m a bit confused. I thought that the state legislature voted into law earlier this year that cell phone use must be hands free.
The reason I am confused is that today, September 15th, I noticed a Bremerton policeman on his cell phone while driving in traffic on Kitsap Way and a bit later on Austin Way. I do understand that this is considered a secondary offence, meaning that he would have to be stoped for another infraction before he could be cited for this.
Since my car is not equipped with lights or a siren I would not have been able to make the traffic stop if he had committed an additional infraction.
Rather than going out and having my car equipped to facilitate traffic stops I have a better idea. How about the duely appointed officers that are paid with our tax monies follow the rules like everyone is supposed to and set the right example.”
To answer Mr. Williams, I consulted the law, and found a quick answer: Remember that emergency vehicles — which include patrol cruisers — are exempt from it.
This passage says it all: ” … this section does not apply to a person operating: (a) An authorized emergency vehicle, or a tow truck responding to a disabled vehicle.”