A new law in Virginia now makes it a primary offense for drivers to text while driving.
The new law, that the Governor signed last month, raises the fines from $20 to $125 for the first offense and a $250 fine for a second offense. It also makes the action a primary offense instead of a secondary offense, which means officers can pull you over if they observe you texting, reading a text or checking email.
Drivers can still use a handheld cell phone for activities such as making calls or utilizing the GPS features when driving.
The new law was introduced by the governor and was his second attempt to increase fines for handheld cell phone use.
Critics have pointed out that while it is a step in the right direction, it may not have the desired effect because drivers are still allowed to use their hands to make phone calls and get directions via GPS. They argue the new measures may be difficult to enforce because someone who is accused of it may argue they were doing something not covered by the measure.