Virginia drivers to be penalized for cellphone use effective Jan. 1

Virginia

VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Starting on January 1, drivers in Virginia will no longer be able to use their cell phones while at the wheel.

It’s currently a secondary offense if you’re using your cellphone while driving, meaning police cannot pull you over if they catch you talking on the phone or texting, but this will change next month.

“Starting January 1, it becomes a primary offense, meaning police can pull you over if they see you on your cellphone while you’re driving, and the penalties are kind of steep, I mean it’s a $125 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, or $250 if you’re caught in a construction zone,” said Lisa Herndon, public information officer for Herndon Police Department.

According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80% of all crashes in Virginia are caused by distracted drivers who are talking or texting on cellphones, reading, or reaching for something.

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