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Thread: Support SB160 Distracted Driving Bill

  1. #1
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    Default Support SB160 Distracted Driving Bill

    Multiple bills have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly to prohibit holding a phone while driving. The notes below provide a quick update on this legislation (excerpted from a DRIVE SMART VA update) and what you can do to help. You are welcome to share, post and tweet about this important legislation.

    ***Senate Bill SB160 (Surovell) is scheduled to be heard NEXT Thursday (1/22), around 2:00 pm. You can help by contacting members of the Senate Transportation Committee and expressing support for the bill.


    How many states already have this restriction in place? Are these laws effective?

    ∑ 20 states and the District of Columbia now ban the use of handheld devices while driving.

    ∑ 13 states saw an average 16% decrease in traffic fatalities within 2 years of passing a handheld device ban. (Georgia House Study Committee on Distracted Driving)



    Letís get it done!




    1. There are now 10 distracted driving bills and four more may be introduced. This is a strong indicator of the desire by the General Assembly to address the issue of distracted driving.

    2. Outreach should be focused on Senate Transportation members. EACH OF THE MEMBERS LISTED HERE VOTED IN FAVOR OF THIS EXACT LEGISLATION LAST YEAR. There are four members who we know will vote NAY and they are not included here.


    Senate Transportation Members:
    Senator David W. Marsden: District37@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Barbara A. Favola: District31@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator John A. Cosgrove, Jr District14@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Bill R. DeSteph, Jr. (R) District08@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Jennifer L. McClellan (D) District09@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Mark J. Peake (R) District22@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Jennifer B. Boysko (D) District33@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Jeremy S. McPike (D)District29@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D) District30@senate.virginia.gov;

    Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D) District05@senate.virginia.gov


    Here is some suggested language for your use:

    Thank you for your support during the 2019 session of legislation prohibiting the use of hand-held personal communications devices. SB160 (Surovell) is identical to that bill and we would appreciate your continued support of this important, life saving legislation. Distracted driving is a growing epidemic and Virginia needs to become a #handsfreeVA in order to save lives and reduce injuries on the roadways of our Commonwealth.

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  3. #2
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    I have not read the text of the bill, but if it does not make this a primary offense, meaning that someone can be pulled over and ticked solely for this act, it will only serve as an add on as a result of some other offense and will likely have limited to no effect on the actual use of a phone while driving.
    Last edited by Hancockbs; 01-16-2020 at 10:43 AM.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hancockbs View Post
    I have not read the test of the bill, but if it does not make this a primary offense, meaning that someone can be pulled over and tickets solely for this act, it will only serve as an add on as a result of some other offense and will likely have limited to no effect on the actual use of a phone while driving.
    Agreed. A lot of these feel-good "distracted driving" statutes clutter up the statute book and are largely unenforceable.

  5. #4
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    I believe it becomes a primary offense but I can confirm with Senator Surovell who introduced the bill.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    Senator Surovell has confirmed that it will be a primary offense.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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