Virginia bill would ban cell phone use while driving

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - A push is on again to ban the use of cell phones while driving in Virginia.

A law proposed in the General Assembly would expand a recently-passed Richmond law across the commonwealth.

Tuesday, state lawmakers and families of people who have lost loved ones due to distracted driving gathered at the capitol.

If the bill passes, you won't be allowed to touch your cell phone while in the driver's seat. Some lawmakers say the law is needed because distracted driving is becoming an epidemic.

House Bill 874 was proposed by Richmond-area Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-71).

There is already a law on the books banning texting while driving in Virginia, but law enforcement and victims' families say that's not enough.

Richmond Police Chief William Smith says, "One of the very first things that we all talk about with our kids is make sure that you leave your phone out of your hand and don’t text, don’t call until you get to your destination. And yet we as an adult society tend not to obey our own advice.”

If passed, drivers in the commonwealth will have a six-month grace period before the law is enforced. After that, it will be a $125 fine for the first infraction and $250 each time after that.

A similar law failed to pass in the 2019 General Assembly.

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