An online petition asking state lawmakers to change Washington’s new distracted driving law had more than 18,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
The law went into effect on Sunday and bans the use of handheld devices, including cellphones and tablets, while driving. The law also says police can give drivers a $99 ticket for other distracting behavior — such as eating, drinking or grooming — if the driver is pulled over for another offense.
That part didn’t sit well with the petition’s creator, identified on the site as Angela Cruze. The petition states:
“As a working citizen and many others who commute long hours of driving throughout the state of Washington, I feel eating, drinking, and/or grooming should be a (citizen’s) right when behind the wheel and feel this law needs to have more of the people's response then having our elected officials make decisions without consent from the people.”
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Many people who signed the petition wrote that they are unwilling to give up eating or drinking while driving.
“It’s my car. I will do as I want in it. Until you pay for my car or insurance, you have no right telling what I can or can't do in it or with it,” one person wrote.