Distracted Driving Legislation In Senate For Amendment

Distracted Driving Legislation In Senate For Amendment

By Linda Farneth

Earlier this month, Governor Northam announced amendments to distracted driving legislation.

Governor Ralph Northam announced an amendment to Senate Bill 1768, sponsored by Senator Monty Mason. In the legislation’s current form, Senate Bill 1768 would prohibit drivers from holding a communications device in highway work zones. The Governor’s proposed amendments would expand this hands-free legislation to be a statewide law.

“The time has come for the Commonwealth to implement an effective and fair law to combat distracted driving,” said Governor Northam. “Too many families have lost loved ones as a result of a driver paying more attention to their phone than to their surroundings. This bill, as amended, will be a significant step forward in promoting traffic safety across the Commonwealth.”

Under current law, “It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to: manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person or read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

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