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Commission Proposes Harsher Penalties for Texting While Driving

December 5, 2012

The Virginia Crime Commission wants to put harsher punishments in place for texting while driving.

Under the proposal, those caught texting behind the wheel would get the same punishment as reckless drivers. A reckless driving conviction can carry a fine of $2,500 and up to a year in jail.

The commission's proposal is just a recommendation. All changes would have to be approved by the General Assembly.

Lawmakers are already writing bills that would tighten the laws on texting while driving, to get ready for next year's session.

"They have studies out that show that you could be drunk and drive better than when you're texting and driving," said Delegate Manoli Loupassi, from Richmond. "If we act on upon this, we're going to have to make the decision. Do you get to touch your phone at all? or not?"

The commission's proposal will be debated by the Virginia House of Delegates next year.

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