Author: Attorney J. David Douthit
Distracted driving remains a major cause of traffic accidents and fatalities. CNN reports that distracted driving accounted for 16% of traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2009, which is unchanged from 2008. Responding to this problem with regard to cellphones, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Va. Code § 46.2-1078.1, which became effective in July, 2009. This statute largely prohibits driving while texting.
However, enforcement of this law presents some practical problems. The statute does not make driving while texting a primary offense; that is, a driver cannot be stopped solely for driving while texting and can only be ticketed for violation of the…