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A New Law for Drivers

By November 20, 2020February 11th, 2021In The News, Insurance

As insurance agents, we are encouraged to help spread the word!
Beginning July 1st, 2020, it will be illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device (e.g., a smart phone) while driving a moving motor vehicle on the highways in Virginia. The new law will not be effective until January 1st, 2021, to allow for educating the public about its provisions.

There Are Some Exceptions
  1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;
  2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;
  3. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency;
  4. The use of an amateur or a citizens band radio; or
  5. The operator of any Department of Transportation vehicle or vehicle operated pursuant to the Department of Transportation safety service patrol program or pursuant to a contract with the Department of Transportation for, or that includes, traffic incident management services as defined in subsection B of § 46.2-920.1 during the performance of traffic incident management services.

Violating the law is punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250. Breaking the law in a highway work zone is punishable by a mandatory $250 fine.

To learn more, visit Drive Smart Virginia’s website: https://www.drivesmartva.org/current-projects/phone-down-its-the-law/.