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Texting-While-Driving Officially a Primary Offense in Virginia

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The Story: Earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers were considering a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense; the bill also stood to raise the fines one could incur while engaging in the dangerous driving practice. This month, the texting-while-driving bill was passed and made into law. The new law means that police officers can now pull over motorists they see texting and treat it as a primary offense, as opposed to a secondary offense, wherein officers could only cite a person for texting while driving after pulling them over for another offense. The law also raises the fines one can incur for the practice, to $125 for a first-time offender and $250 for subsequent offenses. Drivers can now also be charged with reckless driving if they are cited.

The Virginia Injury Lawyer’s Perspective: We have been witness many times to how dangerous texting while driving can be; in many ways it is as dangerous as drunk driving. Because it only takes a few seconds for a car accident to occur, a driver who is distracted by his or her cell phone can easily cause a devastating wreck. And the dangers are not even limited strictly to motor vehicles: according to the National Transportation Safety Board, a recent helicopter crash was caused in part by a distracted pilot who was texting at the time.

Potentially Helpful Info: The personal injury lawyers at our Virginia law firm are familiar with the dangers of distracted driving and driving while text messaging. Our attorneys published an article that explains the dangers and risks of texting while driving; click here to read it. Because mobile devices are now ubiquitous throughout our society, and because young people in particular are so attached to them, it’s the unfortunate truth that texting while driving may be on the rise, even though texting and driving is comparable to drunk driving.

For a more general look at the statistics and dangers of distracted driving, you can download a free guide here, written by our Virginia personal injury lawyers, on the prevalent problem of driving while distracted.

Have Questions? Check Out Our FAQs:

The attorneys at our VA personal injury law firm have answered dozens of questions related to personal injury, traffic accidents and more; you can read them here.

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