Handheld personal communications devices; holding devices while driving a motor vehicle. (SB160)

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


Holding handheld personal communications devices while driving a motor vehicle. Prohibits any person from holding a handheld personal communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Current law prohibits (i) the reading of any email or text message and manually entering letters or text in such a device as a means of communicating and (ii) holding a personal communications device while driving in a work zone. The bill expands the exemptions to include handheld personal communications devices that are being held and used (a) as an amateur radio or a citizens band radio or (b) for official Department of Transportation or traffic incident management services. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021. This bill incorporates SB 136 and SB 944 and is identical to HB 874. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/19/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20100741D
12/19/2019Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/23/2020Reported from Transportation with substitute (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2020Incorporates SB136 (Stuart)
01/23/2020Incorporates SB944 (Saslaw)
01/23/2020Committee substitute printed 20106310D-S1
01/27/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2020Read second time
01/28/2020Reading of substitute waived
01/28/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20106310D-S1
01/28/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB160S1
01/29/2020Read third time and passed Senate (33-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2020Placed on Calendar
02/03/2020Read first time
02/03/2020Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/11/2020Assigned Transportation sub: Motor Vehicles
02/17/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB160S1)
02/17/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 1-N)
02/20/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/20/2020Reported from Transportation with substitute (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2020Committee substitute printed 20108445D-H1
02/21/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB160H1)
02/24/2020Read second time
02/25/2020Read third time
02/25/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20108445D-H1
02/25/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB160H1
02/25/2020Passed House with substitute (69-Y 29-N)
02/25/2020VOTE: Passage (69-Y 29-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020House substitute agreed to by Senate (32-Y 8-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020Title replaced 20108445D-H1
03/03/2020Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB160ER)
03/03/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB160ER)
03/03/2020Signed by Speaker
03/04/2020Signed by President
03/12/2020Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 12, 2020
03/12/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020
03/31/2020G Approved by Governor-Chapter 543 (effective 1/1/21)
03/31/2020G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0543)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB136, HB377, HB512 and HB874.

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