Lawmakers in Richmond will decide this week whether to allow harsher penalties for drivers who text while behind the wheel in Virginia.
The House of Delegates will consider legislation Tuesday that would increase the fine for texting and driving from $20 to $250 for a first offense, and make it a so-called primary offense. Currently, police cannot stop a driver solely for text messaging. An officer can only give a citation for text messaging if a driver is also committing another offense, such as speeding.
The new law would also enforce a $500 fine for a second offense. It passed the House Courts of Justice Committee Friday.
On Monday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee will consider similar legislation, which would propose making texting while driving a reckless driving offense, which can result in up to a year in prison.