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Texting Could Soon Be Primary Offense In Virginia

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A bill being considered in the Virginia State Senate would make texting while driving a primary offense.
Jonathan Wilson
A bill being considered in the Virginia State Senate would make texting while driving a primary offense.

Tapping on your BlackBerry or iPhone while behind the wheel is going to cost you, if a bill overwhelmingly endorsed by a Virginia state Senate committee becomes law.

On a 10-4 vote this morning, the Courts of Justice Committee approved legislation that makes texting or e-mailing while driving a primary offense in Virginia.

It's already a secondary offense, meaning police have to have other grounds to stop a motorist.

Democratic Sen. George Barker of Fairfax says his bill authorizing police to hit the blue lights just for catching a driver texting addresses a huge surge in traffic accidents attributed to texting drivers and public anger over it.

Opponents questioned whether the bill would give police power to confiscate people's phones or pre-empt a more serious charge of reckless driving.

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