The Times West Virginian

January 3, 2013

Safety behind laws on texting, cellphone use

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — It’s common sense: Don’t text while you’re driving.

Since July 1, 2012, it’s been illegal to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving.

Marion County drivers seem to have gotten the message, said Marion County Sheriff Joe Carpenter.

“There haven’t been many arrests,” Carpenter said.

“You can’t text. We knew this would be a problem. But we’re not writing citations on that right now.”

 West Virginia’s ban on text messaging and the use of handheld cellphones while driving technically became effective June 1, 2012.

Enforcement began July 1, 2012.

Fines are $100 (first offense), then $200, then $300. Three points are assessed against driver’s license on third and subsequent violations. Operation with hands-free devices will be allowed.

Teenagers with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses are prohibited from using wireless communication devices while driving. This remains a primary offense.

School bus drivers may not use cell phones while operating the vehicles.

This July 1, you better put the phone down all together.

That’s when the use of all handheld phone devices will be primary offenses.

That means you can be pulled over and cited.

Hands-free devices are not included in the ban.


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