New Virginia laws to improve road safety take effect July 1

| Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A couple of new laws in Virginia that are intended to address highway safety concerns take effect Sunday, July 1.

The first one targets alcohol-related reckless drivers. The new rule requires those who had their driver’s license suspended for reckless driving for alcohol-related or drug-related reasons to complete an alcohol safety action program before they could have their licenses reinstated.

The second one is intended to keep novice drivers off the phone and other devices while at the wheel. It prohibits drivers under age 18 from using any cell phone, hand-held or “hands free,” or other wireless device.

Violations of the restriction would be a secondary offense – meaning a person would have to be pulled over for another violation before they could be ticketed for talking on the phone. Emergency calls would be exempted.

Anyone caught in violation would face a traffic infraction. Repeat offenders could lose their driving privileges for six months.

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