Distracted Driving Legislation

Please help save lives by supporting a hand-held phone ban. #HandsFreeVA

  • 21 states and the District of Columbia now ban the use of handheld devices while driving. Last year in the United states, there was a 2.4% decrease in traffic fatalities. (NHTSA)
  • 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)

We have VERY STRONG laws on the books for driving under the influence of alcohol. We need to address driver distraction – which is another form of impaired driving – in the same manner.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified distracted driving as “a crisis that needs to be addressed now.”
  • Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety found Virginia to be one of 11 states considered “dangerously behind” in traffic safety laws.
  • 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near crashes involve driver inattention within 3 seconds of the crash. (Virginia Tech)
  • Texting (in essence manipulating a phone) while driving increases your crash risk by 2300%, because it involves all THREE kinds of distraction – manual, visual and cognitive. It is by far the most egregious form of distracted driving.
  • In a Liberty Mutual survey, 80% of teens reported that they viewed APP use while driving as “not distracting.” (Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety)
  • Motorists with smart phones use hand-held devices in 88 out of every 100 trips. Therefore, Zendrive estimates that there are about 600 million trips involving distracted driving in the US every day. (Zendrive)
  • Virginia DMV:
    1. 15% of all crashes in 20108 were distraction-related. This number is likely understated as distraction is sometimes difficult to measure in the event of a fatality.
    2. Total distracted driving fatalities, top jurisdictions (starting with the worst): Prince William County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Hanover County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Richmond City, Chesapeake City, Virginia Beach City
    3. Per capita distracted driving fatalities, top jurisdictions (starting with the worst): Nottoway County, Brunswick County, Page County, King and Queen County, Rockbridge County, Charles City County, Greensville County, Goochland County, Caroline County, Prince George County
    4. Total distracted driving injury crashes, top jurisdictions (starting with the worst): Fairfax County, Prince William County, Virginia Beach City, Hampton City, Newport News City, Loudoun County, Richmond City, Henrico County, Chesterfield County, Chesapeake City
    5. Per capita distracted driving injury crashes, top jurisdictions (starting with the worst): Emporia City, Greensville County, Fredericksburg City, Petersburg City, Hampton City, Lynchburg City, Montgomery County, Hopewell City, Newport News City, Tazewell County

Support the Handheld Phone Ban Bill

When passed, this bill will prohibit using a handheld personal communications device while driving unless the device is specifically designed to allow hands-free and voice operation and the device is being used in that manner.

Join the Virginia Partners for Safe Driving Advocacy Group

See a List of DRIVE SMART #HandsFreeVA Advocacy Partners

Advocacy Partners raise awareness about the need for effective, enforceable hands-free driving legislation.

Contact Your Legislator

Call and email your state legislators.  Tell them you are a constituent and you support a handheld phone ban.  Not sure who your legislators are?  No problem.  Here’s the General Assembly link Who’s My Legislator.