Texting at Red Lights Legal in Virginia - For Now

Don't Text and Drive - Injury Lawyer Richard SerpeWe might not like to admit it, but at one point or another, most of us have reached for our cell phone while behind the wheel. Whether we’re checking the GPS feature, turning on a podcast, or quickly checking Facebook, the temptation to reach for our device is often irresistible. And for the most part, all of that has been legal in Virginia. That might change soon, if some local lawmakers have their way.

Texting While Driving Laws May Expand

A legislative panel recently met to discuss extending the texting while driving laws to include other cell phone activities like those listed above. The House Transportation Subcommittee voted 6-1 to outlaw “manually selecting multiple icons” on a cell phone while driving. The ban would also prohibit drivers from reading any text on a device screen, not just text messages. Previous laws forbade texting while driving – this latest bill would prevent motorists from reading or texting while stopped at red lights or stop signs, too.

Texting While Driving Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Studies have shown that texting while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk. As a society, we’ve done a lot to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, but drivers who text are much more common these days. Most of us would never dream of driving after a few drinks, but don’t question picking up our phone at a stop light to check our email or texts. This distraction seems innocuous but can be just as deadly as driving drunk.

Texting While Driving Can Be Fatal

In the first six months of 2015, 68 people died in distracted driving crashes in Virginia. This epidemic must be stopped before more lives are claimed. Though this proposal has not been approved quite yet, consider the risks the next time you reach for your phone in the car. We shouldn’t need a law to remind us of the dangers associated with distracted driving. Keep your phone in your purse or in the back seat if you’re easily tempted by your device. It could save lives.

Injured by a Reckless Driver? Get Help.

If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you undoubtedly have many questions about your legal rights. Our Virginia car accident lawyers can answer your questions and teach you how the legal system can help you. The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC has helped accident victims for over 29 years. If you’d like a free consultation, give us a call or send us an email 877.544.5323.