West Virginia Passes Law to Make Texting and Driving an Offense

Miley Legal Group

March 16, 2012 – In the final motions of the West Virginia 2012 legislative session a new law was passed regarding cell phone use by drivers.

WSAZ revealed the details of the new law that will go into effect starting July 1, 2012. There are 2 measures to the bill that were heavily supported by legislators in hopes to decrease the number of distracted drivers on West Virginia roads.

The first part of the bill makes texting while driving a primary offense, which means police can pull a driver over for texting. The second part of the bill will make talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device a secondary offense, which implies that police can impose an additional penalty for this violation only if the driver was stopped for another primary violation first.

In 2013, the restriction on talking without a hands-free device will be increased to a primary offense. With this new bill West Virginia becomes the thirty-sixth state to ban texting and the tenth state to ban physical cell phone use while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2009 West Virginia Crash Statistics show that there were 356 fatalities as a result of car accidents in West Virginia.

In an effort to raise awareness of common factors in serious and fatal car accidents in West Virginia, our firm routinely publishes news items about traffic crashes in our region.

Common West Virginia accidents include, but are not limited to:

  • single-car crashes;
  • tractor-trailer accidents;
  • accidents caused by hazardous road conditions; and
  • distracted driver crashes.

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