During this summer, politicians in Virginia passed new legislation to enforce a cellphone ban for drivers across the state. However, this law is now finally effective on January 1, 2021.
The law hopes to fight distracted driving by prohibiting anyone from holding a cellphone while driving. While the law does not apply to emergency vehicles or parked cars, it does apply to any driver trying to text, call or search for information on their mobile device.
Anyone who violates this law should expect a fine of $125 for a first offense and a $250 fine for any offense afterward.
What does this mean for Virginia residents?
Virginia is only one of the numerous states to implement a cellphone restriction behind the wheel, but it doesn’t mean that all drivers know what they should do to replace their cellphone use.
For example, one of the most practical ways to reduce your cellphone use in a vehicle is to set up a Bluetooth system through your car systems, so you can answer calls, take messages or listen to music without touching your phone.
Some other practical tips include:
- Using the “Do Not Disturb” function while driving to avoid notifications
- Turning your phone off if you want to resist temptation
- Find other ways to refocus your attention on the wheel, such as listening to music, podcasts or radio shows
- Asking a passenger to read any messages or take any calls that pop up during your ride
All these techniques allow drivers to stay connected while still maintaining their hands on the steering wheel, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a system or tip that works well for your daily commute.