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Put down your phone, it’s the law

A new Virginia law makes it illegal to hold a phone or other “personal communications device” while driving a motor vehicle on state highways. It takes effect Friday, Jan. 1.

A release from Virginia State Police said the new law exhibits that the state “is buckling down on distracted driving.”

From now on, it will be illegal to dial a phone number, send a text message, and do other things such as playing games on a smartphone while driving.

VSP advises that while police will not ask drivers to hand over a device, they can write tickets. Violations of the new law include a fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for second and subsequent offenses. Anyone convicted of reckless driving in addition to being charged with a violation of the new law may face greater penalties, including jail time and higher fines, VSP said.

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