Hands-free driving bill fails in General Assembly’s final hours

Hands-free driving bill fails in General Assembly’s final hours
Legislators had said during the General Assembly session that the rising number of distracted driving fatalities shows the need for such legislation.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A bill that would make Virginia a “hands-free” state died on Saturday in the General Assembly.

The Virginia Mercury reports the bill was defeated after an amendment would have allowed people to talk on a phone to their ear, but not text or look at data.

Families of victims of distracted driving had said such a law could have saved their loved ones lives.

“It’s hell to never be able to see her, talk to her and to know she won’t be able to see her son,” said Roxanne Gabel, whose daughter died in a crash shortly after taking a Snapchat photo.

Legislators said the rising number of distracted driving fatalities shows the need for such legislation.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 208 distraction-related traffic fatalities last year, an 18 percent increase compared with 2016. During the same time frame, alcohol-related traffic fatalities fell more than 5 percent.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.