Virginia has updated its laws when it comes to handheld devices while driving. Currently, it is unlawful for drivers in Virginia to type on their handheld devices if they are driving. Only when traveling through a construction zone is it illegal to have a handheld device in one’s hand. The current law will remain in effect until December 31, 2020, and then the new regulations will kick in. Enforcing the current law is difficult for police officers. The reason the Virginia police are having problems with enforcement is that in many circumstances it is very challenging to tell when a person is typing versus when they are just holding their phones. The new Virginia cell phone legislation addresses this issue.
Distracted driving is a very serious problem that is not only rampant in Virginia, but across the country. Many states have increased restrictions when it comes to handheld devices while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, just under 3,000 lives were lost in traffic accidents as a result of distracted driving in 2018 alone.
If you have been in a Virginia Beach car accident and the driver who hit you was using their handheld device at the time of the crash, you should connect with a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney immediately. You deserve compensation for your damages and the Norfolk car accident attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law can help you obtain a settlement that encompasses all the damages you sustained.
What Are The New Virginia Cell Phone Laws?
While the current law allows a driver to have their phone in their hand while driving, the new law completely eliminates a driver’s ability to have their phone in their hand at all. The only exceptions to the law include:
- A driver of an emergency vehicle who is using a phone as a part of their official work-related responsibilities.
- When a car is lawfully parked or when a car is properly stopped the driver can use their handheld device. While the law technically doesn’t address being stopped at a stop sign or a stoplight, it is generally good advice not to be on your phones at these times.
- When a person is using their phone for the purpose of calling responders regarding an emergency.
- Using an amateur radio.
- A Virginia Department of Transportation driver.
The new law aims to reduce even further the instances of Virginia automobile accidents from distracted driving. Even though no law can completely eliminate automobile accidents, especially when it comes to distracted driving, strict legislation may motivate more drivers to engage in responsible driving behaviors when they get behind the wheel.
Speak to a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney Today
All distractions should be avoided while behind the wheel including, using a phone, eating, drinking, putting on makeup, turning around to address passengers in the back seat, etc. Keeping your eyes on the road keeps you safer, your passengers safer, and all those who are on the road around you safer. If you have been in a Norfolk automobile accident, you can learn more about your rights and your ability to obtain compensation by contacting Virginia Beach Injury Law and scheduling a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call today at (757) 802-4662.