The bill also removes a subsection that makes offenses in the rest of the section secondary offenses. This bill simply means that Virginia drivers ages 15, 16 and 17 will not be able to talk, send text, messages or snap photos with a phone while driving on Virginia roads. This ban, designed to reduce accidents, also will apply to hands-free devices but will allow teens to use a phone during an emergency.
This HB 942 affects me and all the young road drivers who pass by the highways and roads of the State of Virginia. The bill puts a limit on the number of passengers one can bring with and it also institutes a driving clinic for errant young drivers. The first major provision of the bill states that "whenever the driving record of a person less than 19 years old shows that he has been convicted of committing, when he was less than 18 years old, (i) an offense for which demerit points have been assessed or are assessable under Article 19 ( 46.2-489 et seq.) of this chapter or (ii) a violation of any provision of Article 12 ( 46.2-1091 et seq.) or Article 13 ( 46.2-1095 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title, the Commissioner shall direct such person to attend a driver improvement clinic." The second major provision states that "If any person less than 19 years old is convicted a second time of committing, when he was less than 18 years old, (i) an offense for which demerit points have been assessed or are assessable under Article 19 ( 46.2-489 et seq.) of this chapter or (ii) a violation of any provision of Article 12 ( 46.2-1091 et seq.) or Article 13 ( 46.2-1095 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title, the Commissioner shall suspend such person’s driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle for 90 days. Such suspension shall be consecutive to, and not concurrent with, any other period of license suspension, revocation or denial. The initial license issued to any person younger than 18 years of age shall be deemed a provisional driver’s license. Until the holder is 18 years old, a provisional driver’s license shall not authorize its holder to operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger
The general public is helped positively by this new bill since it reinforces the importance of road safety among Virginia’ young drivers. The bill has a negative impact on young drivers since they have to forego the convenience of using wireless devices while driving. However, if one takes the importance of road safety at heart, the young people also benefit in terms of lives saved and the preservation of private property arising from damage due to potential road accidents. The main goal of a traffic safety program is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries by preventing traffic crashes in Virginia. The aim is the maximum protection of the driving public. The success of these efforts is seen in the number of lives saved and the injuries prevented.
Traffic fatalities were identified as the leading cause of death, especially for young people between the ages of four and 34. The "years of life lost" as a result of these terrible events make their social costs particularly high. Many of these tragic losses of lives could have been prevented with better traffic safety bills. Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine wants more traffic safety bills in order to reduce accidents and injuries due to erring drivers.
Traffic safety is an important issue since Virginia had suffered from many traffic accidents which had resulted in the loss of many lives. For instance, Virginia’s 2004 rate of 1.17 fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel was lower than the national average of 1.44 per 100

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