A BIG win in the fight to reduce Distracted Driving on Friday afternoon in House Courts of Justice Subcommittee 1 as Del. Collins’ HB181 was reported out on a 5-1 vote, with only Del. Cline (who is presently involved in a run for the U.S. Congress seat currently held by Robert Goodlatte) opposed.
Janet Brooking of Drive Smart Virginia has been leading this fight for a number of years, and I cite her message below in its entirety. All of the SubComm 1 members are also on the full House Courts Committee, which will be hearing this bill on Monday 1/2 hour after House floor adjournment (usually about 1:15 p.m.) and can be expected to vote the same way in the full committee.
In anticipation of this bill being reported to the House floor, please look up your Delegate’s phone number and email at Who’s my Legislator? on the virginiageneralassembly.gov website and be ready to ask their support once this bill is reported.
This is the furthest a bill like this has gotten in the 9 years Janet and a number of us have been working on it, so lets see if we can get it all the way across the finish line this time!
Delegate Chris Collins HB181 has been chosen as the vehicle for all of the distracted driving bills that were introduced by house members this year. A house courts subcommittee spent significant time working through the bill language and there were some substitutes that have not yet been posted. However, the overall scope of the bill remains the same. It provides that any person who drives a vehicle on any highway while using a handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver’s attention from the operation of the vehicle is guilty of improper driving. This is punishable as a traffic infraction with a fine of not more than $500.
This bill will be heard in full House Courts on MONDAY so IF one of the following Delegates is your representative, please make your best effort to reach out to them before noon on Monday.
Bell, Habeeb, Kilgore, Cline, Gilbert, Leftwich, Adams, Campbell, Collins, Miyares, Watts, Toscano, Herring, Hope, Mullin, Bourne, Simon, Foy
Use this link to locate their phone number and email address:http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php. (You can also use the Who’s My Legislator page.)
How you can help?
- If one of the above is your Delegate, PLEASE reach out to them and share your support for strengthening our existing texting law to a hand held ban. As them to SUPPORT HB181.
- Forward this email to friends, coworkers, members. This is a growing health epidemic. The public supports stronger laws. We need to let our legislators hear from you all!
DRIVE SMART Virginia
720 Moorefield Park Drive, Suite 201
Richmond, VA 23236
Cell: (804) 929-6117 | Office: (804) 323-3200
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