Unless someone is in control of a semi-truck subject to federal regulations, texting while driving laws all exist on a state level. Many people don’t understand individual states’ texting while driving laws even if they usually only travel in the state where they live. This confusion about what is legal and what is not contributes to many people texting at the wheel despite the risk involved.
Virginia is one of the states that has a very strict approach to texting while driving in fractions. If a police officer spots you with a mobile device in your hands, what will likely occur?
Texting while driving is a primary infraction
The state breaks traffic offenses into two categories. Primary offenses are traffic mistakes that are significant enough to justify a police officer conducting a traffic stop. Other, secondary offenses are violations that an officer can issue a citation for if they have other grounds to conduct a traffic stop.
In Virginia, texting while driving is a primary infraction. It can be the main reason for a traffic stop. An officer only needs to see someone with their phone in their hands to justify turning on their lights and pulling someone over to ticket them.
Even when a driver is otherwise completely in compliance with state law, texting or otherwise using a mobile device at the wheel could mean an embarrassing traffic stop and a ticket. A first-time ticket for texting while driving will cost $125, well second, and subsequent texting while driving offenses carry a steeper fine of $250.
You can fight traffic citations
When you pay a traffic ticket, you don’t just settle the issue. You effectively plead guilty to the claim that you broke the law. If a police officer misinterpreted the situation and you believe you can show that you did not violate the texting while driving statute, then you may want to look into defending against such citations.
It’s important to remember that the fine is not the biggest concern after a texting while driving ticket. Rather, the impact on your license and insurance could be reason to look into fighting that ticket. Understanding the consequences of different traffic citations can help those accused of violating Virginia’s traffic codes.