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.
- The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;
- An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;
- Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency;
- The use of an amateur or a citizens band radio; or
- 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/.