By a wide 35-14 vote Tuesday, Washington state senators passed a bill that would make it illegal to even HOLD a smartphone while driving.

Senate Bill 5656 updates the original 2008 ban on texting and talking (save for hands-free devices) to criminalize holding, reading from or entering data on a smartphone, including while stopped at a traffic light. This is in light of more recent technologies such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as games, etc. that have become prevalent. Currently it is not illegal to interface with those applications while driving.

A driver ticketed for violating this law would receive a $209 fine for a first offense with subsequent offenses affecting auto insurance rates.

The bill must still clear the House of Representatives and Gov. Jay Inslee before becoming law.

Yakima County Sens. Curtis King, R-Yakima, and Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, were split on the issue, with King voting in favor and Honeyford against.

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