Handheld personal communications devices; mandatory minimum fine when convicted of reckless driving. (SB1222)

Introduced By

Sen. Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) with support from co-patron Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Reckless driving; using a handheld communications device; penalty. Provides that driving while simultaneously using a handheld communications device for something other than verbal communication constitutes driving a motor vehicle that is not under proper control, punishable as reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under current law, the more specific offense of "texting while driving" (repealed by this bill) incurs a $20 fine and is a secondary offense, which means that a law-enforcement officer must have cause to stop or detain a driver for some other violation, the primary offense, before issuing a citation for texting while driving, the secondary offense. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/09/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13102174D
01/09/2013Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/17/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB1222)
01/23/2013Rereferred from Transportation (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2013Rereferred to Courts of Justice
02/04/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2013Committee substitute printed 13104758D-S1
02/04/2013Incorporates SB1160
02/04/2013Incorporates SB1238
02/05/2013Read second time
02/05/2013Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13104758D-S1
02/05/2013Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1222S1
02/05/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2013Passed Senate (24-Y 15-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB1222S1)
02/11/2013Placed on Calendar
02/11/2013Read first time
02/11/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2013Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
02/13/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (8-Y 0-N)
02/15/2013Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (16-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2013Committee substitute printed 13105183D-H1
02/18/2013Incorporates SB1160
02/18/2013Incorporates SB1238
02/18/2013Incorporates SB981
02/18/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB1222H1)
02/19/2013Read second time
02/20/2013Read third time
02/20/2013Committee substitute agreed to 13105183D-H1
02/20/2013Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB1222H1
02/20/2013Passed House with substitute (91-Y 6-N 2-A)
02/20/2013VOTE: PASSAGE (91-Y 6-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013House substitute agreed to by Senate (28-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Title replaced 13105183D-H1
02/21/2013Reconsideration of House substitute agreed to by Senate (35-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013House substitute agreed to by Senate (27-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2013Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1222ER)
02/23/2013Signed by President
02/23/2013Signed by Speaker
02/25/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB1222ER)
03/25/2013Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/02/2013Placed on Calendar
04/03/2013G Approved by Governor-Chapter 790 (effective 7/1/13)
04/03/2013Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (36-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
04/03/2013House concurred in Governor's recommendation #'s 1, 2 and 3 (86-Y 11-N 2-A)
04/03/2013VOTE: ADOPTION (86-Y 11-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
04/03/2013House concurred in Governor's recommendation #4 (83-Y 13-N 2-A)
04/03/2013VOTE: ADOPTION (83-Y 13-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
04/03/2013G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/03/2013Reenrolled bill text (SB1222ER2)
04/03/2013Signed by President as reenrolled
04/03/2013Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/03/2013Enacted, Chapter 790 (effective 7/1/13)
04/03/2013G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0790)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 10 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB1360.


stephen writes:

The writer of this bill must talk on his cell phone while driving, and thats why cell phones were left off this list. I think the writer should be forced to look at some of the victims of people that were talking on their cell phones.

Sally writes:

this bill appears to outlaw Google Navigator, an app that reads directions to you and is often used as a GPS. navigator is safer than trying to drive and read directions, and safer than talking on the phone while driving.

The bill making texting a primary offense is better and does not have this flaw.

Many people use Navigator as their primary GPS

Eric Herr writes:

I think this is a fine way to prevent texting--I agree with that. But it appears to unintentionally prevent the use of navigation programs or playing music--I do not believe this was the plan. Language must be modified to permit these uses.