Please attend our Annual Meeting Sunday, Nov. 16, 1:30-3:30 PM at the Richmond REI store, 2020 Old Brick Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060. All are welcome. We’ll elect our 2015 board and officers, and strategize for the upcoming 2015 legislative session.

Senate Passes Texting Bill; Now Awaits Governor’s Signature

As the Associated Press reports, the Senate has passed HB1907, making texting while driving a primary offense, and increasing penalties for doing so. Now passed by both houses, the bill awaits Gov. McDonnell’s signature to become law.

Currently, texting is a secondary offense — drivers can be cited only while stopped for something else. Fines are only $20 for a first offense, $50 for subsequent offenses. The new law would raise fines to $250 and $500 respectively. Additionally, drivers convicted of reckless driving would face a $500 fine if they were texting at the time of the offense.

A 2009 Virginia Tech study showed that texting drivers were up to 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision.

HB1907 has received little press coverage or fanfare. Note the above report is from the AP, not local or regional press. Have mobile phone companies — with their tremendous advertising budgets — been effective in keeping things quiet? Or are Virginians too involved with their mobile phones to be interested in this crusade?

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