A recent news article in the Virginia Gazette addressed pending legislation designed to prevent drivers in Virginia from texting while behind the wheel.
House Bill 1907 would change texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. That means that people could be stopped and charged with texting while driving as a stand-alone offense. Currently, a person can only be charged with texting while driving if he was stopped for another violation.
The bill would also dramatically increase the fines for texting while driving. The penalty for doing so is currently set at $20. The bill would raise the fine to $250 for a first offense, and $50 to $500 for repeat violations.
The bill has passed the Senate and currently waits for the governor’s signature. If the governor signs the bill, the new law would take effect July 1.
If enacted into law, the law would not prevent drivers from making cell phone calls or using GPS systems. Instead, it would only apply to a motorist who is using a handheld personal communications device to manually enter multiple letters or text or to read any email or text message.
Texting while driving remains a serious problem. As more and more drivers text while behind the wheel, the number of distracted driving crashes has risen. These crashes can cause serious injuries.
To discuss a Virginia car accident with a Virginia personal injury attorney, contact Lewis & Tompkins, P.C. You may reach our attorneys by calling 202-296-0666 or by filling out our online contact form.
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