First Read
Your first stop for politics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Tougher Texting and Driving Bill Advances in Va.




    Tapping on your BlackBerry or iPhone while at the wheel of a car is going to cost you if a bill overwhelmingly endorsed by a Senate committee becomes law.
    On a 10-4 vote Monday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved legislation that makes texting or e-mailing while driving a primary offense in Virginia.
    It's already a secondary offense, meaning police have to have other grounds to stop a motorist.

    Democratic Sen. George Barker of Fairfax said his bill authorizing police to hit the blue lights just for catching a driver texting addresses a huge surge in traffic accidents attributed to texting drivers and public anger over it.

    Opponents questioned whether the bill would give police power to confiscate people's phones or pre-empt a more serious charge of reckless driving.