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Distracted driving
Drivers in Washington state are encouraged to put their phones out of reach while driving. (Bigstock Photo / Jessmine)

Let this be a warning — there will be no more warnings.

Drivers in Washington state who are still reaching for a cell phone while behind the wheel will now be ticketed by State Patrol officers who have used the previous six months as a grace and education period.

PREVIOUSLY: We rode along with Seattle PD to see how cops are busting drivers violating new distracted driving law.

That period expired Monday and Washington’s Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (E-DUI) will now result in big fines for violators. A first offense is $136 and a second will cost you $234.

Drivers are allowed to use a device if they can do it hands free and can start a function with a single touch or swipe without holding the phone, according to details provided by the state’s Target Zero website.

According to KING 5, the State Patrol stopped more than 5,000 drivers since July 23 when the new law took effect, issuing warnings instead of tickets.

The state had 130 distracted driving deaths in 2014, 171 in 2015, and a preliminary estimate of 156 last year.

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