New laws that Virginia drivers need to know about

New laws that Virginia drivers need to know about

Keeping your car insurance costs low is a matter of making sure that you're never violating your local driving laws. But how can you do that if you're not constantly keeping up with these laws as they change? Take drivers in Virginia, for example. Many driving laws in that state have changed over the course of the past year – and some have even changed over the course of the past couple months!

We've listed some of the new laws – which involve texting while driving, for instance – below. You may think that they aren't major changes, but if you find yourself in violation of any new standards, then you're going to end up with a ticket at the very least – and you may see your insurance costs go up too. 

Texting while driving brings with it a big ticket

Virginia has now instituted a $125 fine for any drivers who are found to be texting while they are driving. This new texting law carries the potential to affect the most individuals. A representative of the state noted that they may attempt to ban all hand-held cell phone usage sometime in the near future – but for now, only texting is completely off-limits. 

"Virginia is a tough state [in which] to enact highway safety laws, so this new action is an important step," Jonathan Adkins, of the Governors Highway Safety Association, recently told the Washington Post. "To be most effective, a hand-held ban is necessary. But this sends a message that texting and driving is dangerous. That's critical."

Additionally, texting while driving is now considered to be a primary offense in Virginia. There was previously a fine for texting, although it was much smaller than it is currently. However, police officers could not previously pull over a driver only for texting. That has now changed: you can theoretically be driving perfectly, but if an officer sees you glance down at your phone while stopped at a light or cruising down the street, then they can still pull you over and issue a ticket. So stay smart, keep your eyes on the road instead of your phone, and you'll be saving yourself a lot of trouble. 

Required ignition interlocks

If you're convicted of a DUI, you're now going to need to have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle to ensure that you never drive under the influence again. Under these new laws, this will be required even after a first offense. 

More time for veterans

Here's a law change that drivers should be in favor of. Previously, members of the active military had to have an updated car inspection sticker on their vehicle within five business days of returning to the state from duty. Virginia has now extended it so that members of the military have up to two weeks to get their cars checked out. That goes to show that some laws can make things easier on the population – they're not all bad!