Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

February 1, 2013

Va. Senate panel to consider texting bills

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Senate committee has postponed until Monday debate on bills to crack down on texting while driving.

The Courts of Justice Committee had been scheduled to consider the legislation Friday as the General Assembly faces a Tuesday deadline for each chamber to act on its own bills.

Texting while driving is already punishable by a $20 fine, but it's a secondary offense. That means police can only write a ticket if they stopped the motorist for another violation.

One of the bills would increase the fine to $250 and make it a primary offense, allowing police to stop and ticket anyone they spot texting behind the wheel. Others would make texting while driving punishable as reckless driving, which can result in up to a year in jail.

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