New law will prohibit holding mobile device while driving

Talking while driving is a dangerous endeavor that should not be attempted by anyone. It makes no difference whether the person is a doctor in a nursing uniform, a millionaire, or a homeless individual in tattered jeans and a tank top; using a phone can be harmless to anyone, regardless of job, social status, or street smarts.

According to a survey whose results were published previously in Augusta Free Press, the percentage of Virginia drivers who use a cell phone while driving has increased exponentially since 2014. From 2014 to 2018, the amount of Virginians who use their cell phone while driving went up by an estimated 57 percent.

Virginian politicians, noting the risks involved with using a phone while driving, are working to pass a “Hands-Free Driving Law”, which will prohibit drivers from holding a phone while driving. Currently, policemen can only ticket if they see the driver sending or reading a message on his or her hand-held device, but it can be hard for an officer of law to ascertain what the driver is doing on his phone, and it can be difficult for police to prove a message was sent or read.

For these reasons, the Virginia House of Delegates has passed a bill under which drivers will not be allowed to hold a personal communication device while driving, and is expected, if passed, to go into effect on January 1st of the year 2020.

This bill allows for phone use while the car is stopped. First offense is $125, and second offense is $250. This bill excludes law enforcement officials and emergency workers, who will still be allowed to communicate by means of handheld devices for work-related purposes.

Using a hands-free or voice assistant device is still permitted.

This law will hopefully make the streets of Virginia safer, and is expected to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents occurring on our roads.

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