Q: Why doesn't talking on a cell phone count as “distracted driving” in the state of Virginia?
A: You can chalk this up to political pressure, and the tendency of lawmakers to act on what they believe are the best interests of their constituents. Virginia is one of the increasingly few states in the U.S. where it's still legal for adults to talk on hand-held cell phones while driving. Other states, such as New York, have banned this practice, though this law is usually honored in the breach. Perhaps this is because Virginia is the home state of so many politicians and legislators who simply have to be within reach of their cell phones at all times.
There is one major exception to this loophole, though. It's still illegal for juvenile drivers to talk on a cell phone while driving in the state of Virginia. Like adult drivers, teenagers can be cited for engaging in other distractions, such as fiddling with a car CD player when they should have their attention on the road, or twisting sideways to carry on a conversation with a passenger in the back seat.
One crucial way in which Virginia law holds all age groups equally accountable is when it comes to texting while driving. This increasingly dangerous practice is now illegal for adults and teenagers alike, and a conviction can carry serious penalties, including time in jail and suspension of your driving privileges. Do you have questions about the laws governing distracted driving in Virginia? Call 888-783-9701 and speak with an experienced traffic attorney at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today for a free consultation.