202101.01
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Hands-Free for All! (Don’t Use Your Phone While Driving!)

Maybe most of you understood that this is a post informing you to not use phones while you’re driving (not free of hands as the title would suggest).

Another group of smart individuals (my readers, including you!) would quickly respond or think with the previous Virginia law that was enacted a couple of years ago that you can’t use your phone while driving anyway, so what’s this update about? Well, I agree that you’re smart and of above average level when keeping informed. But, the truth is, the prior law made it illegal to TEXT while driving. If you were seen to manipulate your phone by entering text or watching video on your phone while operating your vehicle, then you could be pulled over and charged. 

I’ve seen people driving with their phone in hand, holding their speaker to their mouth. I’ve done it myself. At the time, it was legal. But now, you cannot even do that. This new law is different. If you thought you couldn’t use your phone at all while driving, then kudos to you. You were ahead of us all and did what we all should have been doing (we just weren’t required by law to do so). But now it’s official. Starting January 1, 2021, you must put down your phone. No more holding it on speaker mode while driving. Put it down. Or if your vehicle has bluetooth capabilities, use it if you can without touching it (hello, voice control!). It’s not worth getting pulled over for such a minor thing. 

Most of us drive locally especially due to COVID-19. We’re not driving for extended periods of time. We’re making that grocery run or quick drop off at the office. If you can’t be connected to the internet or answer a call when it’s called, life won’t be over. But, if you crash and get hurt because you tried to answer a call or send a text that probably could have waited, then you’re likely to regret it. I may not agree with all laws our elected state officials promulgate, but I certainly do respect their intentions. 

Drive safe and I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2021!

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