April 3, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have approved Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to scale back the hefty fines they passed for texting while driving.
Current fines are $20 for a first offense and $50 for a second. As passed, the bill increased those fines to $250 and $500. It also set a $500 minimum fine for a conviction for reckless driving while texting.
McDonnell's amendments would reduce each of those fines by half. The Senate and the House of Delegates both adopted the amendments by wide margins Wednesday.
The legislation also makes texting while driving a primary offense, which means police can stop and ticket anyone they spot texting while driving. It's currently a secondary offense, meaning an officer must witness another offense to stop a texting motorist.
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