Is it Illegal to Text While Riding a Bicycle in Virginia?

texting while bicyling

No. Virginia’s texting while driving law only covers the operation of motor vehicles. Therefore, if you’re riding a bicycle, you cannot be charged with a violation of the texting while driving statute.

It’s interesting how the traffic law in Virginia has discrepancies between motor vehicles and other types of vehicles like bicycles or scooters or even a horse-drawn vehicle. However, there are many discrepancies like this in the Virginia code, where something may be illegal if you’re doing it behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, but it’s perfectly fine if you’re doing it while operating a vehicle that is powered by human or animal.

Note that reckless driving does still apply to all vehicles that are operated on the roadway in Virginia. Therefore, if you’re actually causing a hazard to life, limb, or property while riding a bicycle in any fashion, you could still be charged with a reckless driving offense in Virginia. This makes sense because if you’re riding a bicycle in a way that’s endangering people, there should be a way to stop that and punish the offender. However, in those cases, there still may be chances to defend the case and maybe get it reduced to a lesser offense such as something like improper driving if it was a minor case.

The moral of the story is to always operate any vehicle on a roadway in a safe manner while paying full attention to the roadway. It’s for your best interest, for your safety along with the safety of other people who are using the roadway, whether they’re motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Avvo. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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