Be prepared to put your phone away while driving!
This law is technically in effect now as Governor Northam signed it earlier this year, but starting January 1, 2021, it will be unlawful for any person driving to hold a cell phone. There are exceptions to drivers who are parked or stopped, reporting an emergency, driving an emergency vehicle and using a phone for work duties, or drivers using a CB radio. A first offense shall have a fine of $125.00. For subsequent offenses or if the offender was driving in a work zone, the fine will be $250.00.
This law will be codified under Virginia Code § 46.2-818.2 and repeals Virginia Code § 46.2-1078.1.
It is still possible for a law enforcement officer to charge a driver with reckless driving if they feel that the driver was endangering the life, limb, or property of another by their distracted driving. Under Virginia Code § 46.2-868, if someone is convicted of reckless driving while holding a cell phone, there will be a mandatory fine of $250.00 for the reckless driving conviction.
Drivers will still be able to use their devices via Bluetooth paired with their vehicles utilizing voice commands.
Cell phone use while driving is unsafe and distracting. Please drive responsibly! Injured by a Person Driving While Using Their Phone?
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