City Council Wants to Toughen Distracted Driving Law

By: WHSV News Staff Email
By: WHSV News Staff Email

HARRISONBURG, Va -- Texting while driving is currently a secondary offense in Virginia, which means officers must pull drivers over for another offense in order to issue charges for texting while driving.

Harrisonburg City Council members may try to change that.

City council members support a state bill to make it a primary offense to text while driving. That means an officer could pull over a driver just for sending a text message. They are also hoping for harsher penalties if a driver is caught with a cell phone in his or her hand while driving.

One city council member said this will protect everyone in the community.

“We do try to look at things legitimately from a public safety standpoint and try to protect the innocent in our community,” said City Council Member Charles Chenault. “Innocent just doesn't mean young children, babies and infants and so forth. It means anybody.”

Chenault said that there are other ways to communicate while driving. He said you can use a Bluetooth headset to talk rather than texting.

The city council will discuss this bill at Tuesday night's meeting. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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