There are some things worthy of being consumed. Fortunately, the Virginia legislature is still turning its attention to distracted driving. Because drivers do more than text.
The Virginia Lawyers Weekly blog just reminded me that in Virginia, it is still legal for drivers to view apps on their phones like Facebook or Twitter, while they are driving. But the Virginia legislature is paying attention.
Del. Christopher Collins, R-Winchester has introduced House Bill 181 to broaden the existing distracted driving law. It would make it a violation of the law for any use of a cell phone while driving. It would also remove a defense. Currently if a police officer wants to cite you for texting and driving, you could presumably just say that “No, I was just checking my Facebook“.
As Delegate Collins explained, “This law goes after those individuals who are staring at their phone to the point that it diverts their attention from driving along the road“.
As noted in the blog, Janet Brooking, executive director of Drive Smart Virginia, has indicated that her organization supports the bill. She explains, “If the bill doesn’t pass, people are going to continue to die,” She referenced that there had been an 11 percent increase in traffic fatalities in the past year in Virginia.
“This bill is really about saving lives and changing behavior,” she said. “This is an issue that has to be addressed.”
On its face you are probably thinking, “This sounds like a good idea”. Here’s the opposing side according to the blog,
“Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, spoke in opposition to the bill on the House floor. He said that while he agreed with the bill in theory, he felt it was written ambiguously and could be used as a precedent for bad acting officers to pull over and harass people, particularly people of color.
“My heart goes out to every family who has had to deal with a fatality because of a distracted driving accident,” Bourne said. “But equally important and valuable are those drivers who after a pre-textual stop had a fatal encounter with a bad actor who was charged and responsible for keeping our community safe.”
He has introduced a different bill to stop distracting driving, that would make it so that police could only pull people with phones…if they are driving recklessly. I guess his reasoning is a “cause and effect bill“.
So there are two sides of the issue. I am glad that no one is trying to introduce No driving with a coffee cup in hand! Just sayin’!
And for pic o’ day, all I can say is Hahahahahahahaha!