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Reminder: Holding a Cellphone While Driving Now Illegal

The Alexandria Police Department has put out a reminder — and a quick explainer — that a new law that went into effect this year makes holding a cellphone while driving illegal.

“One resolution we hope everyone makes is to go hands-free while driving a vehicle,” the police department said. “Virginia had over 23,000 distracted driver crashes in 2019, resulting in 120 deaths. January 1 signifies the first day that the new hands-free law goes into effect statewide. The new law prohibits anyone from driving a motor vehicle while holding a cell phone or other handheld personal communications device, even if the driver isn’t looking at or using the device.:

The only exceptions are for emergencies, and drivers of emergency and safety patrol vehicles.

The first offense is punishable with a $125 fine, or $250 on subsequent offenses. There’s also a mandatory $250 fine in a work zone, even on the first offense.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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