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Virginia to fight distracted driving with handheld cellphone ban

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Using a cellphone while driving is a risky habit. In January it will be illegal for drivers to hold one in their hand while they’re behind the wheel.

Current Virginia law prohibits texting or emailing while driving, but the law is difficult to enforce.

Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam held a virtual signing ceremony for legislation that bans the use of a handheld communications device while driving.

“We in Virginia. We in this country are losing far too many people to avoidable accidents where the driver has become distracted,” said Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-Richmond), the sponsor of legislation in the House of Delegates.

“I think this is going to be a really big deal, and change a lot of lives and save a lot of lives,” said Senator Scott Surovell, who introduced the legislation in the State Senate. “And I’m really proud to be part of it.”

The new law takes effect January 1, allowing six more months for a public awareness campaign.

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