Police begin enforcing Washington’s distracted driving law

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LAKEWOOD — Police in Washington state have begun enforcing the new distracted driving law following the end of a six-month grace period.

KOMO-TV reports that drivers caught with a cellphone in hand will be issued a $136 ticket. The fine increases to $234 if a driver is caught a second time.

The new law was enacted by state lawmakers last year, and it was initially set to take effect in 2019.

Gov. Jay Inslee pushed for the law to take effect in July 2017, but instructed law enforcement agencies to give drivers a six-month grace period in order to adapt to the new law.

Washington State Patrol says nearly 7,000 warnings were issued to drivers during the grace period.