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Virginia is Now "Handsfree" – Phone Down. It's the Law.

In early 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed a new law making it illegal for those driving on Virginia's roadways to operate a motor vehicle while holding a personal communication device, such as a cell phone, tablet, or handheld gaming unit. This law was enacted July 1, 2020 with a delayed enforcement to January 1, 2021.

VA §46.2-818.2

It is unlawful for any person, while driving a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth, to hold a handheld personal communications device.

Full text of new statute:

This new law greatly improves on Virginia's previous texting-while-driving ban that was incredibly difficult to enforce because it focused on a specific activity and not the simple act of having a device in your hands when you should be focused on driving.

In the new law was language that said the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and DRIVE SMART® Virginia would team up to provide a public education campaign about the new law AND produce a training module for Virginia law enforcement officers on enforcing the new law. The public education materials are now ready and available for download to start communicating to citizens that there is a new law and soon they can be ticketed for being observed with a device in their hands – regardless of what they were doing with it. Soon, the online training module for law enforcement will be available via the VACP's Online Training Academy.

Public Education Materials for "Phone Down. It's the Law."


Additional Resources
Here are some other resources to help you with addressing the problem of distracted driving in your community:

  • — The official US Government web site for distracted driving. This site has stats and facts, campaign artwork, templates, and many other resources for starting your own awareness or enforcement campaign.
  • DRIVE SMART® Virginia — DSV is the coordinating organization behind Virginia's Distracted Driving Awareness Day (annually in late April). Become a safety partner or sign the pledge to not drive distracted.
  • — Advocates for cell-free driving.
    FocusDriven believes that the science and research behind cell phone distracted driving dictates that ALL cellular communication use in a moving vehicle has the potential for deadly consequences.