Can Virginia find even more ways to boost fines and penalty fees for drivers? Yes, it looks like they can, and will.
Update: The bill passes both chambers.
A Senate Panel is proposing to make driving while texting a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over just for that act, and increasing the fine from $20 to $250. For a second offense, the fine would be $500.
That doesn’t include if there are any other simultaneous violations, that result from the texting. If you are charged with reckless driving while texting, just the texting portion of the penalty is $500, as well as the misdemeanor level offense of reckless driving itself, and it’s own significant fees and legal headaches.
The proposed Senate bill is identical to one in the House, so it is fairly likely to pass.
Virginia continues it’s strong claim as the most aggressive in pursuing fines and violations against motorists. As we’ve noted before, only in Virginia can you face a criminal level offense for driving just 10mph over the speed limit.
And the Commonwealth is also extremely aggressive in it’s use of traffic cameras, regularly sending citations through the mail for a rolling stop sign or right on red without a full stop.
It is easy to be extremely cynical and suspect that these efforts by our legislators seem focused on revenue gains more than actual fairness or public safety.