Effective July 1, 2012, West Virginia has a comprehensive law restricting the use of cell phones by drivers. As the 36th state to ban texting and driving, West Virginia’s legislators clearly agree that cell phone use is and can be a distraction behind the wheel, and that it can cause car accidents and motorist wrongful death.
These rules are quickly becoming the norm across the country, and they their violation can sometimes be used in court to prove a case against a negligent cell phone-using driver.
The Specifics Of West Virginia’s Cell Phone Law
Under West Virginia’s new law:
- Texting while driving is a primary offense (drivers can be pulled over for texting without any other violations, such as speeding)
- Using a cell phone for any other purpose is a secondary offense (until July 1, 2013, at which time it becomes a primary offense)
- Drivers are prohibited from making phone calls, checking email and sending text messages
- Drivers are allowed to use cell phones with a hands-free device
- Fines: $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, $300 for the third and subsequent offense
- Points: 3 points for the third and subsequent offenses
- Teenagers (learner’s permits or intermediate licenses): teenagers are forbidden from using cell phones in any manner while driving
- School bus drivers many not use cell phones in any manner while driving
It’s important to remember that “driving” is interpreted broadly to include sitting in a car with the motor running in traffic or at a stop light or signal. Drivers can use the phone while safely pulled over on the side of the road.
If you have questions about West Virginia’s cell phone laws, or believe that a distracted driver caused you injury in an accident, contact our West Virginia accident lawyers at 1-800-776-4529, or send us some brief information about your accident.
More Maryland Automobile Accident Information
- Maryland Distracted Driving Lawsuits
- Evidence in Distracted Driving Lawsuits
- Automobile Accident Lawyers (homepage)
- What to do After an Automobile Accident