The Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation to make the state’s existing driving-while-texting ban a primary offense and to substantially raise penalties for offenses. 

To access the Senate bill, click here. To access the House bill, click here.

If the texting ban becomes a primary offense, law enforcement officers would no longer need to witness a different offense, such as speeding, to pull over the driver for a citation. Driving while texting is now a secondary offense in the state.

In addition, the bills seek to raise the fine for a first-time offense from the existing $20 to $250, and the fine for a second or subsequent offense from $50 to $500.

A driver convicted of reckless driving would also face a $500 mandatory minimum fine if he or she was texting at the time of the reckless driving offense.