Let’s talk about distracted driving for a moment.

It has now been nearly four months since the distracted driving, or DUI-E, law went into effect, and there are some very important things to know.

1) It’s a primary offense, meaning the officer doesn’t need any other reason to pull you over.
2) The 6-month grace period for most infractions will be ending at the end of this year.
3) If you do get a ticket, it’s $136. Get another one within five years, it’s $234 per citation.
4) Holding the phone while on speaker will now get you a ticket.
5) It could affect insurance rates if you get caught.
6) You can now get $99 secondary distracted driving citations tacked on to any primary offense for eating, grooming, etc.

So what can you do? First and foremost, really stop and think, “Is this call or message THAT important?” That is the ultimate goal of the law, to get people to put down their phones and concentrate on the task at hand. Second, and equally important, get a hands-free device. This could be a simple Bluetooth headset or a complete in-dash system. Either way, the law specifically states that you must be able to operate the device with “minimal use of a finger”. What that means is up for debate, and the Washington State Patrol even said that it’s at the trooper’s discretion. However, with the introduction of Siri and other digital assistants, even “minimal use of a finger” is hardly necessary these days.

We are now stocking and installing the Pioneer NEX line of in-dash receivers. These units are some of the first to go beyond simple Bluetooth connectivity and expand it to include complete mobile device integration. They support Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AppRadio Mode+. From music playlists to navigation, Pioneer NEX receivers are a huge leap forward without a huge leap in price to the consumer. Even if you don’t have the space for a double-din receiver or full size screen, the Pioneer AVH-3300NEX is for you.

Stop in to our shop and talk with our 12-volt expert about hands-free options for your vehicle. Chances are we have something that’s the perfect fit.

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