Handheld personal communications devices; penalty if text messaging and emailing while driving. (SB219)

Introduced By

Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Text messaging and emailing while driving; penalty.  Allows police officers to issue citations to violators who text message or email while operating a moving motor vehicle. Currently, police officers must have cause to stop or arrest a driver for some other violation before issuing a citation. Amends § 46.2-1078.1, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


  • 01/10/2012 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12
  • 01/10/2012 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102224D
  • 01/10/2012 Referred to Committee on Transportation
  • 01/17/2012 Impact statement from DPB (SB219)
  • 01/18/2012 Reported from Transportation (8-Y 5-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
  • 01/20/2012 Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 01/23/2012 Read second time and engrossed
  • 01/23/2012 Motion to rerefer to committee agreed to
  • 01/23/2012 Rereferred to Courts of Justice
  • 02/06/2012 Reported from Courts of Justice (10-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/07/2012 Read third time and passed Senate (26-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/07/2012 Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (38-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/07/2012 Passed Senate (28-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/13/2012 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/13/2012 Read first time
  • 02/13/2012 Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
  • 02/15/2012 Assigned MPPS sub: #2
  • 02/16/2012 Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
  • 03/10/2012 Left in Militia, Police and Public Safety


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 34 seconds.


Liz Dordal writes:

While I applaud and heartily support the intent of this b1ll- a $20 or $50 fine is not going to be enough to deter, and is a joke. There should be a $100 fine; initially, and for subsequent violations, 1 driving point. Make it worthwhile for police officers to make it worth their effort to pull over those who have such little disregard for the lives of the people they endanger each time they choose to text and drive.