Since new Virginia texting while driving law, five people ticketed

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's new texting while driving law is nearly a month old. Despite the ban, police say they still see a number of violators on the road. But we found out, that only a handful have been ticketed so far.

Police want to prevent a collision or worse. Authorities say a tow truck driver caused a mess in upstate New York while talking on one phone and texting on another.

In Virginia, where texting while driving is illegal, police say it's still a constant problem. Richmond Police Commander Michael Shamus says out of all the other driving distractions, texting tops the list as most dangerous.

"It takes a lot of attention away from the road cause you're looking down trying to hit the right numbers depending on the kind of device you have," said Shamus.

But police can't just stop violators, unless they've broken another traffic law first.

"Whether or not using a signal or switching over a lane or going over the yellow line," said Shamus.

Since the law took effect on July 1, Chesterfield police haven't written any tickets. In Richmond, two people received summons. In Henrico, three drivers have also been ticketed.

"They should be ticketed I don't see why not it distracts them I've seen them veer off a little bit," said driver David Wilson.

"I still see it it's every day," said another driver.

Katie Bernard sees it off and on while doing her job.

"It kind of worries me a little bit because I definitely would want to get hit by anybody," said Bernard.

"If you have to make a telephone call you need a text it's that important pull over on the side of the road or in a parking lot," said Shamus.

Remember, the fine for the first offense is $20.  Do it again and it'll cost you $50.

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