HB181: Improper driving; use of handheld communication device while driving vehicle.


HOUSE BILL NO. 181
FLOOR AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by Senator Surovell
on March 5, 2018)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Collins)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to hands-free operation of handheld personal communications devices in motor vehicles; exceptions.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to:

1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information unless the handheld personal communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice and hands-free operation and the device is being used in that manner.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;

3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or

4. The use of a handheld personal communications device for purposes of navigation or generating audio transmission, provided that such device is physically mounted to the vehicle;

5. The use of an amateur radio or a citizens band radio;

6. An operator who activates, deactivates, or initiates a factory-installed feature or function on the vehicle;

7. The operator of any Department of Transportation vehicle or vehicle operated pursuant to the Department of Transportation safety service patrol program or pursuant to a contract with the Department of Transportation for, or that includes, traffic incident management services as defined in subsection B of § 46.2-920.1, during the performance of traffic incident management services; or

8. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report or in response to an emergency.

C. A violation of this section is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250.

D. For the purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means:

1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer while engaged in the performance of official duties;

2. Any regional detention center vehicle operated by or under the direction of a correctional officer responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

3. Any vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles, when traveling in response to a fire alarm or emergency call;

4. Any emergency medical services vehicle designed or used for the principal purpose of supplying resuscitation or emergency medical services relief where human life is endangered;

5. Any Department of Emergency Management vehicle or Office of Emergency Medical Services vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

6. Any Department of Corrections vehicle designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, when (i) responding to an emergency call at a correctional facility, (ii) participating in a drug-related investigation, (iii) pursuing escapees from a correctional facility, or (iv) responding to a request for assistance from a law-enforcement officer; and

7. Any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights pursuant to § 46.2-1029.2.

D. E. Distracted driving shall be included as a part of the driver's license knowledge examination.


HOUSE BILL NO. 181
FLOOR AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by Senator Obenshain
on March 5, 2018)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Collins)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to distracted driving; penalty.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to:

1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;

3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or

4. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency.

C. A violation of this section is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250.

For the purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means:

1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer;

2. Any regional detention center vehicle operated by or under the direction of a correctional officer responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

3. Any vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles, when traveling in response to a fire alarm or emergency call;

4. Any emergency medical services vehicle designed or used for the principal purpose of emergency medical services where human life is endangered;

5. Any Department of Emergency Management vehicle or Office of Emergency Medical Services vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

6. Any Department of Corrections vehicle designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, when (i) responding to an emergency call at a correctional facility, (ii) participating in a drug-related investigation, (iii) pursuing escapees from a correctional facility, or (iv) responding to a request for assistance from a law-enforcement officer; and

7. Any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights pursuant to § 46.2-1029.2.

D. Distracted driving shall be included as a part of the driver's license knowledge examination.

A. For purposes of this section, "highway work zone" means a construction or maintenance area that is located on or beside a highway and marked by appropriate warning signs with attached flashing lights or other traffic control devices indicating that work is in progress.

B. Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway while using any handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver's attention from the operation of the motor vehicle is guilty of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500. If the violation occurs in a highway work zone, it is punishable by a mandatory minimum fine of $250.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an operator (i) of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties; (ii) who is lawfully stopped or parked; (iii) using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency; (iv) using a handheld radio-based communications device during an emergency or disaster relief operation; (v) using a factory-installed global positioning system or aftermarket global positioning system; (vi) using a wireless communication device used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or (vii) activating, deactivating, or initiating a factory-installed or aftermarket-installed feature or function of the vehicle.

D. A violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute.


HOUSE BILL NO. 181
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee for Courts of Justice
on February 9, 2018)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Collins)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to distracted driving; penalty.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any person to operate a moving motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth while using any handheld personal communications device to:

1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;

3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or

4. Any person using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency.

C. A violation of this section is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250.

For the purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means:

1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer;

2. Any regional detention center vehicle operated by or under the direction of a correctional officer responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

3. Any vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles, when traveling in response to a fire alarm or emergency call;

4. Any emergency medical services vehicle designed or used for the principal purpose of emergency medical services where human life is endangered;

5. Any Department of Emergency Management vehicle or Office of Emergency Medical Services vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

6. Any Department of Corrections vehicle designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, when (i) responding to an emergency call at a correctional facility, (ii) participating in a drug-related investigation, (iii) pursuing escapees from a correctional facility, or (iv) responding to a request for assistance from a law-enforcement officer; and

7. Any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights pursuant to § 46.2-1029.2.

D. Distracted driving shall be included as a part of the driver's license knowledge examination.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Handheld personal communications device" does not include a factory-installed feature or function of the vehicle.

"Highway work zone" means a construction or maintenance area that is located on or beside a highway and marked by appropriate warning signs with attached flashing lights or other traffic control devices indicating that work is in progress.

B. Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway while using any handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver's attention from the operation of the motor vehicle is guilty of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500. If the violation occurs in a highway work zone, it is punishable by a mandatory minimum fine of $250.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an operator (i) of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties, (ii) who is lawfully stopped or parked, (iii) using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency, or (iv) using a handheld radio-based communications device during an emergency or disaster relief operation.

D. A violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute.


HOUSE BILL NO. 181
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee for Courts of Justice
on February 5, 2018)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Collins)
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to distracted driving; penalty.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-1078.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1078.1. Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty.

A. It is unlawful for any Any person to operate a moving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth any highway while using any handheld personal communications device to:

1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information where such use substantially diverts the driver's attention from the operation of the motor vehicle is guilty of distracted driving. Distracted driving is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500. If the violation of this section occurs in a highway work zone, it shall be punishable by a mandatory minimum fine of $250.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. The operator of any emergency vehicle while he is engaged in the performance of his official duties;

2. An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;

3. The use of factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning systems (GPS) or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; or

4. Any person An operator using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency; or

4. An operator using a handheld radio-based communications device during an emergency or disaster relief operation.

C. A violation of this section is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250.

For the purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means:

"Emergency vehicle" means:

1. Any law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer;

2. Any regional detention center vehicle operated by or under the direction of a correctional officer responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

3. Any vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles, when traveling in response to a fire alarm or emergency call;

4. Any emergency medical services vehicle designed or used for the principal purpose of emergency medical services where human life is endangered;

5. Any Department of Emergency Management vehicle or Office of Emergency Medical Services vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation;

6. Any Department of Corrections vehicle designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, when (i) responding to an emergency call at a correctional facility, (ii) participating in a drug-related investigation, (iii) pursuing escapees from a correctional facility, or (iv) responding to a request for assistance from a law-enforcement officer; and

7. Any vehicle authorized to be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights pursuant to § 46.2-1029.2.

"Handheld personal communications device" does not include a factory-installed feature or function of the vehicle.

"Highway work zone" means a construction or maintenance area that is located on or beside a highway and marked by appropriate warning signs with attached flashing lights or other traffic control devices indicating that work is in progress.

D. Distracted driving shall be included as a part of the driver's license knowledge examination.

E. A violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. The provisions of this section shall not preclude prosecution under any other statute.

HOUSE BILL NO. 181

Offered January 10, 2018
Prefiled December 23, 2017
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-869 of the Code of Virginia, relating to improper driving; handheld communication device.
Patron-- Collins

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That § 46.2-869 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-869. Improper driving; penalty.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, upon the trial of any person charged with reckless driving where the degree of culpability is slight, the court in its discretion may find the accused not guilty of reckless driving but any person who drives a vehicle on any highway (i) in a negligent manner but does not endanger the life, limb, or property of another or (ii) while using a handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver's attention from the operation of the vehicle is guilty of improper driving. However, an An attorney for the Commonwealth may reduce a charge of reckless driving to improper driving at any time prior to the court's decision and shall notify the court of such change. Improper driving shall be punishable as a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $500.