Enforcement of Virginia’s Texting and Driving Ban Remains Sketchy
The law that made texting and driving a primary offense came into effect in Virginia this summer.
It’s too early to tell if the law has curbed accidents caused by distracted driving in Virginia. However, there’s already some evidence that enforcement of the ban has been lax.
Recently, an editorial in the Virginian-Pilot suggested the “practical problems” caused by the law have rendered police officers unwilling to use it. The newspaper suggested enforcement of the law had been light in South Hampton Roads.
The Pilot reported Virginia Beach police issued the most citations – 55 since the law came in on July 1 until September 17. The number of citations in other jurisdictions remained in single figures. Chesapeake issued seven, Norfolk two and Suffolk one. Portsmouth did not have any figures available.
The legislation has been dogged with loopholes and exemptions for drivers who are dialing a number on their phones or following directions.
However, legislators hoped awareness of the law would act as a deterrent. “Simply knowing about the law can also deter drivers from fiddling with their phones while they’re on the road,” the Pilot reported.
Enforcement campaigns have helped drive the message home. The number of crashes caused by distracted driving on the roads of Virginia has increased in recent years.
NBC12 reported as many as 80 percent of crashes are caused by some kind of distraction in a recent report.
Martha Meade with AAA Mid-Atlantic said in the report: “People are dying because of a simple missed phone call, a dropped toy or some other event that is completely not important.”
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you should call an experienced Virginia Beach auto accident lawyer.
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have a main office in Norfolk, Virginia and client meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News and Hampton, VA. Cooper Hurley handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice.
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