Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HB1876 – Passed as Secondary Offense: Driving while on cell phone or texting

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 46.2-1078.1 as follows:
§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It shall be 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.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle as defined in § 46.2-920;
2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;
3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or
4. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency.

C. No citation for a violation of this section shall be issued unless the officer issuing such citation has cause to stop or arrest the driver of such motor vehicle for the violation of some other provision of this Code or local ordinance relating to the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motor vehicle or any criminal statute.

D. A violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $20 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $50.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: State Politics



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