A proposal to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving has died in the Washington House. The measure failed to get a vote before a key deadline Tuesday.
The so-called distracted driving bill would have expanded Washington’s current ban on texting and driving or holding a phone up to one’s ear. It would have prohibited reading from or manually entering information into a phone or just holding a phone while driving -- even at a red light.
Democrat Judy Clibborn, the House Transportation committee chair, said she came to support the measure, but couldn’t muster the votes to move it out of her committee.
“I just think it’s a new idea,” she said.
Republican Senator Ann Rivers sponsored the measure. She’s disappointed and said it could have saved lives.
“Our inability to act as a legislature really is quite an embarrassment on this issue,” Rivers said.
Rivers pointed to a recent AAA study that found 12 percent of teen crashes involved cell phone use. The proposal is likely to come back next year.