We recently wrote that cellphone use isn’t the only cause of distraction behind the wheel. Be that as it may, cellphones are still the most common – and perhaps the most dangerous – source of driver distraction in the U.S. Today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people die each day on U.S. roads due to accidents caused by distracted driving.
Here in Virginia, distracted driving accidents claimed the lives of 131 people in 2018 alone. While the Commonwealth already has laws against texting or emailing while driving, it is clear that this isn’t enough to save lives and significantly reduce driver distraction. That’s why Gov. Northam recently proposed legislation that would further limit cellphone use behind the wheel.
The governor’s proposal is actually an amendment to a current piece of legislation seeking to prohibit drivers from holding a handheld personal communications device while traveling through highway work zones. Gov. Northam revised the bill to prohibit that behavior on all Virginia roads. If passed, violators would be issued a mandatory $250 fine.
Many lawmakers seem to be supportive of the governor’s expanded bill, including the author of the original bill. He noted: “I’m proud to be a part of a safety measure that will undoubtedly save the lives of many Virginians.”
While legislative fixes are appreciated and necessary, they will not entirely stop distracted driving. Nor will they compensate the families of those who have been killed by distracted drivers. If you have lost a loved one in a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue justice and compensation in civil court through a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn more, please discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.