Use of handheld personal communications devices while driving; penalty. (SB860)

Introduced By

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Use of handheld personal communications devices while driving; penalty. Expands the prohibition of using a handheld personal communications device while operating a motor vehicle to all communications unless the device is specifically designed to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner. Current law prohibits only the reading of an email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communicating. The bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are used for navigation or generating audio transmissions when the device is physically mounted to the vehicle. The bill provides that any violation of this prohibition that occurs concurrently with an additional traffic offense, or if the violation results in an accident, is punishable as reckless driving. Current law provides that a violation of this prohibition is punishable as a traffic infraction only. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/07/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100966D
12/07/2016Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/17/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB860)
01/18/2017Committee substitute printed to LIS only 17104418D-S1
01/18/2017Passed by indefinitely in Transportation (7-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)