Texting while driving may soon be penalized more stringently in Virginia. A ban on the act has just cleared another hurdle, and now all that remains is for the Governor to veto the act or sign it into law.
The House Bill passed by a 28 to 12 margin in the Senate yesterday. The measure would make texting and driving a primary offense, meaning that a law enforcement official could pull an individual over simply for suspecting that that person was in the process of texting at the wheel. Anyone caught engaging in the act would face a $250 fine, a number which doubles for subsequent violations of the law.
Virginia already has a law in place to address texting and driving, but some feel that it lacks teeth. Texting is currently a secondary offense, and those who get caught in the act face a relatively small fine of $20, with additional occurrences entailing only a $50 penalty.
A spokesperson for the Governor says that he will carefully review the measure when it comes in to his office. He stipulated that the Governor does worry about the law’s disclosure of specifically banned activities. He seems to be more in favor of measures that simply outlaw all dangerous driving maneuvers, feeling that such laws would encompass texting without calling that offense out directly.