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

Drivers in at least one community north of Seattle don’t appear to be getting the message that being behind the wheel of a vehicle and holding a cell phone at the same time is now illegal.

The Lake Forest Police Department said in a post on Facebook — spotted by KOMO News — that officers wrote more than 60 tickets Thursday while running a three-hour patrol focusing on distracted driving.

“Put the phone down!!!” the post exclaimed, highlighting the frustration officers clearly feel after reader boards on roadways warned drivers for two days that patrols were coming.

(Lake Forest Park Police Department via Facebook)

Washington state’s Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (E-DUI) went into effect last July and was aimed at curbing the use of hand-held devices in automobiles. A grace period in which drivers were let off with a warning lasted six months and ended in January.

An initial ticket will cost a driver $136, and the amount will increase with each infraction.

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