Virginia Telephones: What you need to know

At present, there is no prohibition on the use of cell phones while driving for motorists age 18 and older.
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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.

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