As of January 01, 2021, a new law went into effect that made it illegal in Virginia to hold a cell phone while driving a moving vehicle on a highway. A first offense will carry a $125 fine and a second or subsequent offense, the driver will be fined $250. If this new law is broken in a highway work zone, there will be a mandatory $250 fine. Drivers can still talk on the phone while driving, but you can’t be holding the phone while driving. There are, however, a few exceptions to the new law. It does not apply to:
- The operator of any emergency vehicle while he/she is engaged in official duties
- An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped
- Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency
- The operator of any Department of Transportation vehicle
For a full review of the new law, you can visit https://www.drivesmartva.org/traffic-safety-laws/.
Other Safe Driving Habits To Practice
It’s critical that we have effective traffic safety laws in place to help ensure our safety on the roadways. But safe driving should be something you’re mindful of all the time. Here are a few driving tips you can use to always stay safe on the roads:
- Don’t drive tired
- Don’t drive with too many passengers
- Reduce distractions while driving (i.e, do not text and drive, do not eat and drive, do not apply makeup while driving, etc.,)
- Use your turn signals
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Slow down in inclement weather
- Never drive under the influence
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