Current News | December 30, 2016

SAFETY: Virginia bill could limit cell phone and GPS usage

The state would effectively require hands-free navigation and communication

A bill proposed in Virginia would limit the use of cell phones or GPS systems while driving. If passed, drivers would only be allowed to use devices hands-free, and phones would have to be physically mounted in the car.


The bill is being proposed by Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax. Texting while driving is already illegal in Virginia.


This bill proposal comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the state department of transportation will enter into a data-sharing agreement with traffic mapping and information app Waze, in effort to create a most comprehensive data architecture of speed and congestion patterns.


State Del. Terry Kilgore is opposed to the new bill. He stated that the current anti-texting law is enough to protect drivers.


“We ought to wait and see how that works before we keep going on down the road of prohibiting everything in cars because I think that's where we're going,” said Kilgore said, who went on to state he thinks the bill is unlikely to pass given the fact that the current law only narrowly made it out of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee.


The new legislative session begins January 11. Kilgore said the main issue legislators will be working on is the $1 billion deficit in the state budget. He hopes they’ll be able to keep a promise of giving raises to teachers and other state and local employees.

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