Texting while driving bill goes to governor
Legislation cracking down on texting while driving is only Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature away from become law after passing the Senate on Tuesday.
House Bill 1907, proposed by Delegate Rich Anderson, R-Woodbridge, would change texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. (Currently, you can be charged with texting while driving only if you have been stopped for some other violation.)
Moreover, the bill, which passed the Senate on a 28-12 vote, would drastically increase the fines for texting while driving. The penalty would jump from $20 to $250 for a first offense and $50 to $500 for repeat violations.
Six other bills were incorporated into Anderson’s. HB 1907 includes proposals by Delegate Ben Cline, R-Amherst, and Delegate David Bulova, D-Fairfax, to make texting while driving punishable as reckless driving.
Anderson said a hometown tragedy prompted him to introduce the bill.
“I’m so glad that it passed. It was my signature piece of legislature this session,” he said.
“I found out while having coffee with a neighbor last spring that they had lost their brother to a texting driver, so I decided something had to be done.”
Anderson said he has received hundreds of emails this session in favor of the bill, and only one that opposed it.
The House of Delegates had approved HB 1907 by a vote of 92-4 on Feb. 5.
The bill does not prevent drivers from making cellphone calls or using GPS systems. It applies only when a motorist is using a “handheld personal communications device” to “manually enter multiple letters or text” or “read any email or text message.”
If McDonnell signs HB 1907, it would take effect July 1.
Sen. Tommy Norment, R-Williamsburg, is sponsoring companion legislation to Anderson’s – Senate Bill 1222. The bill is awaiting final approval by the House.
Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.
The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.
Three local churches are holding events on Saturday: A Fall Veterans and Community Health Fair and Blood Drive at Antioch Baptist Church in Varina; a Fall Children’s Consignment Sale at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in the West End; and a Community Day event at Fair Oaks Baptist Church in Highland Springs. Two events are also planned in Henrico for history buffs: A tour of New Market Heights and a commemoration of the battle for Fort Harrison. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
- More News
Sep. 15, 2016Click here to read the print edition.
- More Entertainment
- More Obituaries
- More Community
- More Opinions
- More Sports
CalendarThe Fairfield Ruritan Club will host a barbecue chicken dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Antioch School Community Center, 5650 Elko Rd. in Sandston. The dinner includes… Full text