Stronger Texting and Driving Ban Inches Closer to Reality in Virginia

Posted on February 6, 2013

A stronger texting and driving penalty than the one currently on the books is creeping its way toward passage in Virginia.  If things continue on their current trajectory, then drivers might be subject to the stricter measures as soon as July of this year.

Both the state’s Senate and House have elected to approve a bill that would alter the current law on the books so that texting behind the wheel would become a primary offense.  At the moment, engaging in the act is only a secondary offense, which means that an officer must have some other grounds to pull a driver over.  The fine for a violation would also be markedly increased.  Right now, the measure is nothing more than a slap on the wrist worth $20, but the new law would task offenders with paying $250, a number that would jump to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Now that both parts of the General Assembly have approved the bill, all that remains is for the Governor of Virginia to affix his signature to the measure.  That signature is all that stands in the way of texting and driving becoming a primary offense.  One family who lost its son in an accident caused by texting at the wheel expressed their support for the measure and was thankful to see the new law passed.

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