Last month was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It was also the month that Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell signed a new Virginia distracted driving bill into law. The new law will make it a primary offense to text while driving.
As of July 1, 2013, Virginia State Police and local police officers will be able to pull a driver over and issue a ticket for texting and driving without first needing another reason to pull the driver over. A first offense could cost a driver $125. Second and subsequent offenses could cost a driver $250
A Law Won’t Do It All
While the change in Virginia law may help prevent some accidents, other efforts, such as public awareness and education campaigns, remain important. Recently, in Northern Shenandoah Valley, the following events have taken place:
- Winchester Police handed out flyers to high school students and asked them to commit to not using cell phones while driving.
- Warren County Sherriff’s Office participated in the Wellness Expo at Warren County High School. Law enforcement officials attended with a simulator that allowed students to experience distracted driving without putting them at risk.
- Shenandoah County Sherriff’s Office reported plans to use social media to draw attention to Distracted Driving Awareness Month and educate the public about the risks of distracted driving.
Our Warren County car accident lawyers hope that the new law, combined with the public awareness and education efforts of local law enforcement officials, will help prevent future distracted driving accidents and injuries in the Commonwealth of Virginia.