March 13, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Motorists have had a year to prepare for West Virginia's newest effort to deter distracted driving.
Starting Monday, drivers can be pulled for talking on a phone without a hands-free feature. Violators face a $100 fine for a first offense.
Hands-on cellphone use has been against the law since last July 1. But until Monday, drivers could not be pulled over solely for that violation.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has made targeting distracted driving a priority. He's kicking off a new safety campaign Monday at the Tamarack artisan center along the West Virginia Turnpike in Beckley.
West Virginia is also upgrading its seat belt law this month. Motorists can be pulled over for not wearing one starting July 9. That violation had previously been a secondary offense.