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Texting and Driving Law: Can I Use my Phone For a Map While Driving in Virginia (VA)?

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Best distracted driver injury attorneys in VACan I Use my Phone For a Map While Driving in Virginia (VA)?

On July 1, 2013, texting while driving became a primary offense in Virginia (VA).  This was to help prevent distracted driving, which causes so many car accident injuries and fatalities every year.  But many people have questions since smart phones are used in a variety of ways.  Some of the questions appearing are:

So as of today you can be pulled over and fined for texting while driving... What if I'm just reading an email or checking a weather alert?

It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth of VA while using any handheld personal communications device to: Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device.

I am all for this new law, and am very much against texting and driving, but what if I was using my map on my phone to get directions. I'm always on the go and am rushing from one meeting to another, and sometimes I need to get directions using my phone.  Will I get in trouble?

Typing an address into your phone's GPS mapping software is legal

Does this apply to cops as well? I see so many VB cops texting and driving. How do you expect people to obey the law when the cops are doing it too?

The provisions of this section shall not apply to: The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties.  The bottom line is that the new ban on texting and driving is to save lives.  Distracted driving is a major contributor to car accidents.  These car accident injuries can rip families apart, maim and kill.  A University of Utah study found that just talking on a cell phone while driving reduce motorist reaction times as much as having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 (the legal limit in North Carolina (NC) and Virginia (VA)  Imagine how much more distracted a driver is when his eyes are off the road and on a device.  As experienced personal injury lawyers we have had to hold the hands of grieving parents.  Help a young baseball player with a shattered arm and give support to many more victims who have suffered at the hands of preventable accidents.

This is the Virginia state code for the new texting while driving law:

§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to:

1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

CT

 

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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