Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 2, 2012

W.Va.’s ban on texting while driving now law

WELCH — With all the other things happening throughout the state on Sunday, troopers with the West Virginia State Police were charged with a new task — watching for motorists who violate the new law banning texting while driving .

“The texting ban is now a primary offense,” Trooper C.A. Dunn of the Welch Detachment, West Virginia State Police said. “We could arrest somebody on that offense.”

Dunn explained that using a cell phone without a hands-free device is now a secondary offense and will remain that way until July 1, 2013, when the ban on hand-held cell phone use takes effect.

As of Sunday, West Virginia has joined 39 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands in banning texting while driving. The Mountain State is also the 10th state to ban hand-held cell phone use (effective July 1, 2013), and there are no states that have passed an absolute ban on all cell phone use while driving.

The fine for texting while driving is $100, first offense, $200 for a second offense and $300 for third and subsequent offenses.

A quick check Sunday evening of area law enforcement officers did not yield any reports of tickets written for violators of the new law.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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