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Cell Phone Ticket Dismissed for CDL Driver

Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2021 by Andrew Charles Huff

A great outcome in a contested hearings case where my client was driving his commercial tractor truck and cited for using an “electronic device while driving,” in other words a cell phone. The driver explained to the officer that he was using his cell phone to check for “updates regarding a collision in Oregon from earlier this morning” as he was traveling south on I-5.

I challenged the ticket on the basis that using a cell phone is authorized under RCW 46.61.672 if the individual employed as a commercial vehicle driver “uses a personal electronic device within the scope of such individual’s employment…” I further argued that part of a commercial driver’s duties is to check for potential traffic issues, which is what this driver was doing in anticipation of upcoming traffic backups. Checking potential traffic issues ahead is part of a commercial drivers’ duties and therefore authorized for this limited basis.

The judge fortunately agreed with this argument and dismissed this ticket.

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