By: Allan Siegel
On July 1, Virginia passed a law that would allow law enforcement officers
to cite drivers for texting behind the wheel,
even if no other traffic violation was committed. According to recently released data, Virginia State Police issued a total
of 328 citations for texting while driving from the date the law was passed
through September 28.
Drivers who receive a ticket must pay a fine of $125. A second offense
will lead to increased fines of $250. Under a previous Virginia law passed
in 2009, the ban on texting while driving was a secondary offense. This
meant that drivers could only be ticketed if law enforcement officers
pulled them over for another reason.
Under the new law, drivers can be ticketed solely for text messaging while driving. Text messaging while driving recently became a primary offense in Washington,
D.C. and Maryland as well.
Texting Bans Crucial to Reducing Risks of Car Accidents in Virginia
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Virginia and throughout
the country. Although all forms of driver distraction are negligent and
unsafe, texting is considered one of the most dangerous for the following reasons:
- Texting commands a driver's visual, manual, and cognitive attention
Text messaging creates a crash risk
23 times worse than if a driver were not distracted, according to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to DriveSmartVA.org,
8 out of 10 Virginia car accidents are caused distracted driving, a large percentage
of which involve text messaging and cell phone use.
Because texting places others on the road in danger, bans on cell phone
use and text messaging are crucial to protecting public safety and reducing
risks of preventable car accidents. Currently, 41 states and the District
of Columbia ban texting for all drivers.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Northern Virginia
car accident attorneys are experienced in representing victims injured
in car accidents caused by distracted drivers, including drivers who were
texting. We are prepared to help victims and their loved ones hold negligent
drivers liable for the damages they caused.
To discuss your case, call (888) 887-4128 for a free case evaluation.