New distracted driving law will have police all up in your business | Letter

Don’t eat while driving. Don’t put make up on while driving. Don’t text while driving. Don’t watch a video while driving. Don’t read while driving. Not even if stopped at a light or stop sign. (It’s legal if you pull over to do any of these things.)

It’s not a crime, but a civil infraction, like a speeding ticket. Now, you’ll get a DUI-E: “driving under the influence of electronics” ticket. The fine is $136.

It’s already been the law that holding a phone and talking on it (except for 911 calls), and hugging or embracing a passenger while driving are unlawful. But this law goes farther than any other in the nation as Big Brother is now in your passenger seat!

Eating or shaving while driving are “secondary” offenses with only a $30 fine. A “secondary” offense is one that an officer can’t pull you over for, if that’s all you’re doing wrong. There has to also be a “primary” (more serious) offense committed, then they can tack this secondary one on. Here, secondary offenses are all the non-electronic things one can do behind the wheel.

This new law expands the opportunity for police officers to make “pretextual stops.” What’s a “pretextual stop?” Its a false reason for stopping a driver. Its where an officer pulls you over for an alleged minor infraction, but is really trying to bag you for DUI, drugs or something else.

I understand the safety concern about texting while driving, but we already have negligent and reckless driving laws. These new actions that have been made civil infractions, are already against the law because they are already subsumed under our general negligence and reckless driving laws. And reckless driving carries a one-year penalty. So there’s already lots of deterrence for driving while distracted.

It shouldn’t really matter the reason one is driving dangerously, whether because one is smoking, hugging, tired, gacked up on coffee or texting, the danger is still there and our general negligent and reckless driving laws already cover it.

Hey, traffic officer, quit looking at my head, shoulders and hands, and just watch my car for unsafe driving. Please just look at my wheels, speed and blinkers, not my face, shoulders and hands.

If I’m driving unsafely, it shouldn’t really matter why. Let’s repeal this law which treats drivers like children and invades privacy. Or at least let’s delete the all-encompassing “other distractions” section.

Jeff E. Jared is a criminal defense attorney in Kirkland

More in Letters to the Editor

A closer look at Emerald Heights expansion | Letter

In his Feb. 8 letter to the editor, a 13-year-old kid writes… Continue reading

Inslee and climate change | Letter

Gov. Jay Inslee appears ready to announce his 2020 presidential run. Considering… Continue reading

Wrong and scary | Letter

I thought that we were living in a civilized society? Where all… Continue reading

Fraudster-in-Chief | Letter

In October 2016, a neighbor explained to me he was supporting then-presidential-candidate… Continue reading

Thank you Rep. DelBene | Letter

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has just… Continue reading

Protecting your packages | Letter

Your article (“Let’s talk about race,” Redmond Reporter, Dec. 14) missed an… Continue reading

Protecting your packages | Letter

Regarding the article on package porch pirates (Redmond Reporter, Nov. 23), there… Continue reading

A frightening reality | Letter

One can only conclude that President Donald Trump’s reality is his and… Continue reading

Big Oil’s ‘Kool-Aid’ | Letter

Voters drank Big Oil’s “Kool-Aid” on Nov. 6 and rejected Initiative 1631.… Continue reading

The next generation | Letter

Did you know that 50 percent of all lifetime causes of mental… Continue reading

Looming taxes continue to burden property owners | Letter

Looming taxes continue to burden property owners In the City Council’s committee… Continue reading

Nudity in state parks should be legal | Letter

I haven’t been a nudist my whole life, but, over the past… Continue reading