Texting while driving soon to be illegal in West Virginia
Unless Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin changes its mind, texting while driving will officially become an offense on the roads of West Virginia.
The Senate and the House compromised on SB 211 to make texting while driving and talking on a handheld cell phone illegal. Effective July 1, a motorist caught texting or talking while driving would receive a $100 fine for a first violation, and up to $300 fine after from a third violation.
The compromise came regarding the law enforcement. Senate lawmakers wanted to make the cell phone ban a secondary offense, while House representatives were expecting both bans to be a primary offense. Under the adopted version, the cell phone ban will start off as a secondary offense only to become a primary offense in July 2013.
“We feel texting while driving is a much more serious thing,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo
For Sen. Orphy Klempa, it should give enough time for people to prepare.
“Give them the first year to get accustomed to the law. They’ll have to get a wired headset or get a blue tooth or some other means of using the phone instead of having one up to the ear.”
Once Gov. Tomblin signs the legislation, West Virginia will become the 10th state to prohibit handheld cell phone while driving.
Source: Saturday Gazette-Mail, March 10, 2012