Patel & Dalrymple, PLLC
The Distracted Driving Laws that Apply in Virginia
Distracted driving has always been a problem in our world, but it’s only until recently that i became a true scourge out on the road. Distracted driving now usually implies that a driver was using his or her cellphone or some other electronic device while operating a vehicle. Decades ago, distracted driving meant the driver was fiddling with the radio, or talking with people in the backseat, or looking at things on the side of the road instead of the road in front of them.
In essence, these all lead to the same result: a driver that isn’t paying attention to his or her most important duty. And thus, when distracted drivers are out on the road, the chance of an accident occurring as a result of their oblivious state of mind increases.
In regards to cellphone use while driving, the state of Virginia did not implement a ban on texting while driving until 2009. However, the law lacked any teeth. The ban was only a secondary offense, which means that a police officer would need to pull the offending driver over on a different offense — a primary one — to even discipline the driver for texting behind the wheel of a car.
The law was bolstered in 2013, making texting while driving a primary offense. Other laws have been added, such as a primary offense ban of all cellphone use for school drivers, and a similar ban, but one that is secondary in nature, for novice drivers. Any drivers that violate these rules are acting recklessly and deserve to be held accountable for their actions.
Source: Virginia DMV, “Virginia Distracted Driving Laws,” Accessed Sept. 13, 2017