Since texting while driving became a primary offense in July, Virginia State Police troopers have stopped and charged 328 drivers for violating the law from July 1 through September 28.
"Keep in mind that this data does not provide an exact account of the problem that exists concerning texting while driving on Virginia's highways," said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "Depending on the observation of the investigating trooper, drivers can also be cited for reckless driving and, therefore, not included as a texting-while-driving violation. Regardless, texting while driving puts at risk the driver, passengers and every other motorist, motorcyclist, pedestrian and bicyclist sharing the roadway with that inattentive driver."
Since the law went into effect, state troopers are enforcing it just like any other primary offense. The trooper must observe the the texting while driving in order to initiate a traffic stop on that vehicle. Further investigation determines what offenses, if any, the trooper will cite the driver for. Troopers have the discretion to warn, summons or arrest a violator.
If cited, drivers have to pay a fine of $125 for the first offense. Any subsequent violations will result in a $250 fine.