Charleston: The Capitol: In an attempt to put an end to risky texting and driving, the West Virginia State Senate introduced legislation to ban wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Text messaging while driving is banned in 30 states as well as the territories of the District of Columbia and Guam.
“The Division of Motor Vehicles approached me regarding this matter and it has been an interest to me for quite some time,” Senator Bob Beach (D- Monongalia) said.
Senate Bill 260 creates a misdemeanor offense for operating a motor vehicle while writing, sending or reading a text message by means of a wireless communication device. Electronic devices are cellular telephones, pagers, computers, or any other device used to input, write, send, receive, or read a text.
“This bill addresses the safety concerns drivers have regarding sharing the road with someone that is distracted because they are looking at their phone,” Beach said. “Student groups are some of the biggest advocates for the ban, saying it’s a risk to get out of their high school’s parking lot because classmates are texting and driving.
Under Senate Bill 260, the penalty for texting while driving would be a $25 fine. No court costs, fees or points will go against a violators’ driving record. The proposed bill does not include drivers reporting an emergency to law- enforcement.
This bill was introduced January 25, 2011; referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Senator Beach, please call Heather Nelson 304-357-7915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org