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Legislation Unveiled in Virginia to Curb Distracted Driving Problem

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Feb. 14, 2023

New bills in Virginia have been introduced by legislators that are designed to prevent distracted driving collisions that injure and kill drivers.

In Virginia, many drivers believe they can quickly check a text message or respond to a phone call safely while they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, drivers who engage in distracted driving activities like these put their safety and the safety of others at risk. To reduce the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians injured and killed by distracted driving, legislators in Virginia recently revealed several new bills to curb the problem.

What the New Legislation Entails

Currently in Virginia, drivers are only prohibited from checking emails and text messages using a cellphone while behind the wheel of a vehicle that is in motion. One of these new bills, HB 1834, is meant to stop drivers from hitting icons on their phone or entering multiple letters on their mobile device while driving. This would make it illegal for drivers to check Facebook, check a Tweet or watch a YouTube video both while their vehicle is moving and while it is stopped anywhere on the roadway.

Another bill, HB 2015, is designed to provide education to young people about the dangers of distracted driving. If this bill is passed, those who use the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system will have the opportunity to voluntarily contribute to the DRIVE SMART Virginia Education Fund. This fund is in place to promote roadway safety and provide related activities and training.

Distracted Driving Continues to Affect Many

Although both of these bills, as well as the others newly introduced by Virginia legislators, have the potential to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the roads, many people continue to be injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions on a regular basis. On a state level, according to WTOP, 175 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving just last year.

On a national level, approximately eight people are killed in distracted driving accidents every day, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 1,161 people are also injured in collisions like these on a daily basis in the U.S.

Reach out To an Attorney

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Virginia who are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver may experience significant emotional, mental and physical harm on both a short and long-term basis. Those in a similar situation should contact an attorney in their area who can help them defend their rights to fair and proper compensation.