If you drive north of Charlotte for about an hour and a half on I-77, you will come to the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to a recent article in the Observer, it might not be long before new distracted laws will be in force as you cross the state line.
The newspaper reports that a coalition of lawmakers has proposed several new laws aimed at reducing the risk of car accidents caused by distracted drivers. The legislators said distracted driving resulted in thousands of car crashes in Virginia, more than 14,000 injuries and 175 fatalities there last year.
One of the proposals would make it illegal to "manually select multiple icons or enter multiple letters or text" on phones or tablets or other electronic devices. The law would effectively ban the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites while people are behind the wheel. Current law there bans sending texts or emails while a vehicle is moving.
The new ban would apply to cars stopped on roadways. It would not apply to drivers whose vehicles are legally parked.
The law would also not prohibit drivers from using GPS systems or making phone calls while driving.
Another proposal would generate funds for education of high school students about the dangers of distracted driving. Funds would be collected from donors and from sales of a special license plate, proponents said.
One of the legislators said he had been told by high school students that new penalties for distracted driving and drunk driving will have little effect. He said he hopes that education will help get kids involved in the effort to reduce accidents, injuries and deaths.
It's good to read of lawmakers doing what they can to make our streets safer.
Those who have been injured in a crash caused by distracted driving can contact our experienced personal injury attorneys.