Wireless telecommunications devices; prohibits use of text messaging while driving certain vehicle. (HB1876)

Introduced By

Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) with support from 9 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville), Del. Joe Bouchard (D-Virginia Beach), Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax), Del. Algie Howell (D-Norfolk), Del. Bobby Mathieson (D-Virginia Beach), Del. Joe May (R-Leesburg), Del. Paula Miller (D-Norfolk), Del. Margi Vanderhye (D-McLean), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Text messaging and emailing while driving. Prohibits operation of a motor vehicle, bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any wireless telecommunications device for the purpose of composing or sending any text message or email. This bill provides exemptions for the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and using a wireless telecommunications device to report an emergency. The provisions of this bill do not apply to operators of emergency vehicles. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/12/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 095805868
01/12/2009Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/23/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1876)
02/05/2009Committee substitute printed 093869472-H1
02/05/2009Reported from Transportation with substitute (15-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2009Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/05/2009Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/06/2009Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s)
02/06/2009Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2009Committee substitute printed 090944472-H2
02/08/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1876H1)
02/08/2009Read first time
02/09/2009Read second time
02/09/2009Committee substitute from Transportation rejected 093869472-H1
02/09/2009Committee substitute from Courts of Justice agreed to 090944472-H2
02/09/2009Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1876H2
02/10/2009Read third time and passed House (88-Y 10-N)
02/10/2009VOTE: --- PASSAGE (88-Y 10-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2009Constitutional reading dispensed
02/11/2009Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/12/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1876H2)
02/19/2009Reported from Transportation with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2009Committee substitute printed 093650472-S1
02/23/2009Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1876S1)
02/24/2009Read third time
02/24/2009Reading of substitute waived
02/24/2009Committee substitute agreed to 093650472-S1
02/24/2009Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB1876S1
02/24/2009Passed Senate with substitute (33-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2009Placed on Calendar
02/26/2009Senate substitute agreed to by House 093650472-S1 (88-Y 9-N)
02/26/2009VOTE: --- ADOPTION (88-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
03/09/2009Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1876ER)
03/09/2009Impact statement from DPB (HB1876ER)
03/10/2009Signed by President
03/11/2009Signed by Speaker
03/30/2009G Approved by Governor-Chapter 661 (effective 7/1/09)
03/30/2009G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0661)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 2 minutes.


Sharon writes:

This bill was signed by the Gov. but that does not show on this page. Also, this information should include the date the law will go into effect...not ON the day it became law.

A. Cabrera writes:

Being a recent transplant to Chesapeake from NJ and seeing some of the deplorable driving habits here, I want to thank Del. Cosgrove for showing initiative in putting forth bill 1876 banning texting while driving. While I feel this is an important first step i believe the penalties fall short of being an effective deterrent. Texting while driving is basically the equivalent of driving drunk. Hopefully in the future if this practice does not stop, the fines will be reviewed. Additionally, I feel that talking on a cell phone which does not have a hands free device (these can be bought at the dollar store) should have been banned as well. It amazes me how many people in the Hampton Roads area immediately flip open their cell phone and start yapping the minute they get into their cars. In the year I have lived here I have personally witnesses drivers dangerously weaving, screeching to a stop, running red lights and turning into traffic all because they are not focused to the task of driving but are distracted by their call. I hope Del. Cosgrove will present similar legislature banning the use of cell phones without a hands free device while driving.
There are tragedies out there which could be preventable with a stroke of a pen.