Texting While Driving Bill – The Bare Facts

Two Virginia delegates recently proposed new legislation that would make texting while driving reckless driving. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense: a police officer can only cite a driver for texting while driving if he or she pulls the driver over for another offense. And the fine for texting while driving is only $20 for the first offense. The bill applies to any cell use other than calls while driving and would make such an offense a Class 1 misdemeanor of reckless driving, which is punishable with a fine up to $2500 and up to a year in jail.

Republican Delegate Ben Cline and Democrat Delegate Scott A. Surovell introduced the bill, and the Virginia State Crime Commission has already expressed its support of the proposed legislation.

A particular car accident prompted Delegate Cline to propose this legislation after he had opposed a similar bill in the past. The car accident was caused when a man received a text message while driving and then struck and killed a college student. The man was originally charged with reckless driving, but the charges had to be dropped because texting while driving is only a minor traffic violation. Because of this incident, Cline felt that current law needed to be both clarified and made stricter.

Current Virginia traffic laws regarding texting and driving were passed in 2009.

As I’ve written about, this bill goes too far.

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, and Facebook. 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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My special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

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