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Is It Illegal to Text and Drive in Virginia? Did You Know?

Have you heard about the new Virginia cell phone driving laws that are now in effect?

As of January 2021, the hands-free law in VA makes holding a cellphone while driving illegal.

Distractions are everywhere and can prove dangerous for drivers and others on or near the road. Virginia distracted driving law is in place to help cut down on these fatalities.

To stay safe on the road and avoid traffic violations from using your phone, you need to know the distracted driving laws in Virginia.

What do previous and current laws say?

Is it illegal to text and drive in Virginia?

What’s the penalty for holding your cell phone while driving in Virginia?

Keep reading to get answers to all these questions and learn about the new “cell phone while driving” laws in VA.

Previous Virginia Distracted Driving Laws

Virginia cell phone driving laws are extensive and date back to 2009.

Here’s a look at how distracted driving laws have progressed in Virginia:

  • 2009: Lawmakers banned texting and reading emails while driving. The only exceptions were for emergency responders and people reporting an accident.

  • 2013: Policymakers modified the 2009 law slightly. They made using a cell phone while driving a traffic infraction punishable by a $125 fine in Virginia. Multiple unpaid offenses could result in a suspended license.

  • 2014: The Virginia legislature made distracted driving a component of the driver’s license exam. They also made it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone or any wireless device while driving their car.

  • 2018: Virginia lawmakers doubled fines for distracted driving in a work zone. They also made it unlawful for any driver to hold a communications device in their hand while in a work zone.

For the past 12 years, Virginia policymakers have tried to decrease cell phone distractions while driving. The new hands-free law in VA continues to take steps in this same direction.

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