My law firm, MichieHamlett, does a lot to spread the word about the dangers of texting and driving. My colleagues Greg Webb, Kyle McNew and I have made many presentations to high schools and civic groups to educate kids and adults about the incredible risks created by distracted driving. Research is showing that distracted driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving.
Just like it took a long time for society to respond appropriately to drinking and driving, we are finally beginning to increase penalties for texting while driving. After many years of inadequate action, both houses of the Virginia General Assembly have finally passed legislation that makes texting while driving a primary offense (meaning that law enforcement can stop drivers based on that charge alone) and increased the fine from $20 to a meaningful $250 for first offense, $500 for second offense. Hopefully, Governor McDonald will sign this law and Virginia will take a needed step in preventing this deadly practice.