At present, there is no prohibition on the use of cell phones while driving for motorists age 18 and older.
It is against the law in the Commonwealth of Virginia for any person operating a moving motor vehicle to use a handheld personal communication device to enter or type a message to be communicated or to read a new text message or e-mail or a stored text message or e-mail. A driver may use such a device while legally stopped or parked (VA Code Sec. 46.2-1078.1).
Drivers may use handheld devices to report an emergency.
A driver may use a factory-installed or aftermarket global positioning system (GPS) or wireless communications device used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system while in motion.
Effective July 1, 2013, text messaging while driving is now a primary offense, meaning drivers can be stopped for this infraction alone. Fines for a first offense are now $125 up to $250 for subsequent offenses. Drivers whose texting was determined to be a factor causing them to drive recklessly or have an accident will be fined a minimum of $250.
Drivers of emergency vehicles are exempt from this law.
Last reviewed October 2014.