Drivers Beware: Holding a Phone Will Soon Be a Fine!
Attention: Virginia Drivers! Starting next year, holding a cell phone or any type of mobile device while operating a motor vehicle could make you eligible for a $125 fine.
The law will go into effect on January 1st, 2021 and if you’re caught a second time, the amount will double to $250.00.
Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill this past July, however, the rolling out of the law itself was pushed back to give the public enough time to learn about it and become aware of the change. Virginia banned texting and driving back in 2007; this new enforcement will work to abolish using a cell phone or mobile device while driving a motor vehicle entirely.
Sadly, in the last two years, distracted driving resulted in over 23,000 motor vehicle crashes statewide, and was the cause of death for more than 110 people, according to the Virginia DMV.
What is Distracted Driving?
Across the United States, the unanimous leading cause of motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving. More recently, it’s common to see motorists becoming distracted by smartphones, GPS-devices, the radio, other passengers, eating/drinking, applying make-up, and subsequently removing their attention from the road. I n turn, this increases their odds of being involved in and unfortunately injured in an accident. According to Esurance, the three most common forms of distracted driving are cognitive, visual, and manual distractions. Cognitive distractions are when a driver’s mind is not properly focused on the road in front of them. A visual distraction, which is far too common, is when a driver takes their eyes off the road for any reason, whether it’s to use an electronic device like a GPS or a cell phone. Manual distractions are when drivers remove their hands from the usual, and recommended, “ten-and-two” position, to perhaps eat and drive, or to retrieve something from their wallet, purse, or backpack.
Over 1.6 Million Motor Vehicle Accidents Occur Each Year As A Result of Distracted Driving!
In the United States, distracted drivers behind the wheel have truly aided in the creation of a nationwide epidemic. In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the United States government released distraction.gov – a website that’s aimed at educating drivers and passengers all across the country through investigative statistics, and information, from various reliable outlets and organizations.
It’s clear, that distracted driving in any form, can certainly be the direct cause of many car, truck, bus, or motorcycle accidents that take place in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. At the moment, there is no federal law in place that mandates or governs the usage of a cell phone while behind the wheel or a motor vehicle – however, it’s incredibly important to be aware of the laws in the state that you live in, or work in.
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