Va. Texting Bill Wins Final Legislative Approval

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013  |  Updated 10:56 PM EDT
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Va. Texting Bill Wins Final Legislative Approval

NBC New York

Legislation to toughen the penalties for texting while driving is on its way to Gov. Bob McDonnell's desk.

Without debate, the Senate voted 28-12 Tuesday to pass a House bill increasing the fine for a first offense from $20 to $250. The fine for a second or subsequent offense would go up from $50 to $500.

The legislation also changes texting while driving to a primary offense, allowing police to stop and ticket offenders. Currently it's a secondary offense, which means drivers can only be cited if they're stopped for another violation such as speeding.

Another provision of the bill says anyone convicted of reckless driving faces a mandatory minimum $500 fine if the driver was texting at the time of the offense.

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