Handheld personal communications device; texting while driving primary offense. (HB212)

Introduced By

Del. David Bulova (D-Fairfax) with support from 11 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

Those copatrons are Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church), Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), Del. Jim Scott (D-Merrifield), Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria), Del. Vivian Watts (D-Annandale), Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria), Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke), Sen. Toddy Puller (D-Mount Vernon), Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-Alexandria), Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Use of handheld personal communications devices in motor vehicles; penalty.  Makes texting while driving a primary offense. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/08/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10
01/08/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10102534D
01/08/2010Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
01/19/2010Assigned MPPS sub: #2
01/21/2010Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
02/16/2010Left in Militia, Police and Public Safety


Jim Duncan writes:

How do you prove if someone is texting while driving?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

A time stamp is associated with every text message—match that up with a police dash camera and you've got yourself a pretty good case.

That's certainly not perfect, though. When I pick my wife up from work every day, I send her a text when I'm a few blocks away. I write that text when I first get in the car, so I just have to press the "send" button when I want to send it 5-10 minutes later. The evidence would show that I was in violation of the law, although I imagine reasonable people can agree that such an action presents no greater danger than turning on the radio.

Virginia ITSP Association, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Public Safety - Telework

Chris writes:

All this bill does is make it a primary offense instead of a secondary offense.

Keith writes:

I read this today "The subcommittee of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee was unmoved by testimony that several studies have found a strong connection between highway crashes and cell phone use by drivers." in their inept decision not to pass this bill. I guess we'll have see how "moved" they are when one is subjected to a non-offending texter inattention!