VIRGINIA (WJHL) — Following the trend in Tennessee, Virginia is looking to become the next state with a “hands-free” bill for drivers.
Virginia Senator Scott Surovell (D) reintroduced the legislation yesterday during a press conference livestreamed by DRIVE SMART Virginia.
The following is a summary of the state bill being introduced by Sen. Surovell.
“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. This bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021.”
The bill will be one of the topics tackled by lawmakers for the 2020 session. At this time, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation.
Currently, a hands-free law is in effect across the Commonwealth from construction zones. They previous statewide bill failed to gather enough votes last year.
Sen. Surovell says be believes the bill can be passed with the new majority.