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caught "texting while driving" in virginia
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just some dude
 
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caught "texting while driving" in virginia - July 8, 2013, 07:28 AM

I was on my way to Lake Rawlings this past Friday, and was trying to find a grocery store on my Iphone's map while driving on I-85. A state trooper came up on my left pretty fast and almost passed me, saw me on the phone, slowed and got behind me to pull me over. I got a ticket for "texting while driving."

The funny thing is that he said if I looked up the law it includes any use of a mobile device while driving. At the time I took his word for it, but I just now looked up the law and he's wrong. It's very, very specific on what's prohibited:
1. Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or
2. Read any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.

The law: LIS > Code of Virginia > 46.2-1078.1

It's a $125 ticket. I feel like going down to fight it, but I can't spare the vacation day. According to the law, I can manually enter text into a gps device, or even enter text into my mobile phone's gps, but I cannot text while driving. Apparently some cops are ignorant of the law they're enforcing.


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July 8, 2013, 07:35 AM

fight that ish! Teach them!


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July 8, 2013, 07:45 AM

I'd fight it. Strictly on the principle if nothing else. Then again... I do get pretty pissed off when I'm riding and I see people on their phones and not paying attention to shit. Could they ticket you if you pull over to do your GPS'ing?

Last edited by Germcati; July 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM..
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July 8, 2013, 07:56 AM

If it is a moving violation, it could mean higher insurance costs. Even if your rates don't go up much now, they could skyrocket if you get another ticket. Fight it, or at least contact a lawyer. If you have a lawyer, they might be able to get this dropped / reduced to no points without you even having to show up in court. The cost of a lawyer to help you fight this is a lot cheaper than what you insurance costs will go up if your insurance company gets wind of it.

If it is no points, and you are sure your insurance company isn't going to ding you for it, then it is probably easier to just pay up. Good luck.


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July 8, 2013, 07:57 AM

Pretty stupid law. How can they tell what you were doing. They should rewrite it to include any use while driving.

That said you would have a good shot to win as is, but you made a point.. is it worth a vacation day and the risk you lose anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2blueyam View Post

If it is no points, and you are sure your insurance company isn't going to ding you for it, then it is probably easier to just pay up. Good luck.
and this is about right


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July 8, 2013, 08:01 AM

Yeah, the law is useless as is. They need to rewrite it to make it so you can't use any handheld device while driving.

Unless its your penis, in which case that should be fine.


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July 8, 2013, 08:02 AM

Seatbelt violations are not moving but affect premiums. I wonder if insurance companies will classify these are the same.


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July 8, 2013, 08:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot View Post
Seatbelt violations are not moving but affect premiums. I wonder if insurance companies will classify these are the same.
If they do I would absolutely fight it.

Virginia?s new texting-while-driving law contains loophole - Washington Post


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July 8, 2013, 08:22 AM

Well, the law is the law. Only thing is can you prove that your were abiding by it? Did you inform the officer of your activity? Bring a copy of the law and repeat it to the court verbatim. Then question the officer on if you did or didn't inform him of your activities. He must answer truthfully. Remember you must be proven guilty without any reasonable doubt. All you have to do is prove there is doubt on your activities and the stated law will be on your side. A lot of crappy laws like cell phone use is written so there will be a loop hole for the people who wrote them in case they are charged themselves.

Some states like NJ have the laws stated has no hand held device use period, but ends up hindering many people. For example a case in NJ with someone using a CB radio, its a hand held device the ticket stands even if its part of your job, i.e. truck drivers and caravans.


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July 8, 2013, 08:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by short_mike View Post
Well, the law is the law. Only thing is can you prove that your were abiding by it? Did you inform the officer of your activity? Bring a copy of the law and repeat it to the court verbatim. Then question the officer on if you did or didn't inform him of your activities. He must answer truthfully. Remember you must be proven guilty without any reasonable doubt. All you have to do is prove there is doubt on your activities and the stated law will be on your side. A lot of crappy laws like cell phone use is written so there will be a loop hole for the people who wrote them in case they are charged themselves.

Some states like NJ have the laws stated has no hand held device use period, but ends up hindering many people. For example a case in NJ with someone using a CB radio, its a hand held device the ticket stands even if its part of your job, i.e. truck drivers and caravans.
You can add to this by bringing your cell phone text log.


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July 8, 2013, 08:27 AM

can someone with state farm insurance call up their agent and ask if a "texting while driving" violation will increase their premium? i don't want mine getting suspicious and checking my record after i ask.


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July 8, 2013, 08:40 AM

The court date is on a Thursday. I may try to work up some flex/comp time and take Thursday off to head down there and also visit Lake Rawlings again, that'll make the trip worth it.


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July 8, 2013, 08:49 AM

So your one of those people that think you can use a device and get away with it? Ironic that a biker gets nailed for a law that would help out bikers.


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July 8, 2013, 08:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge131 View Post
So your one of those people that think you can use a device and get away with it? Ironic that a biker gets nailed for a law that would help out bikers.
No, he's one of those people that got wrongfully charged in Virginia for something they didn't do.

The law says you cannot text and drive. It doesn't say anything about entering addresses into google maps and driving, which is what he was doing.

Granted, the law is dumb the way it is written. It should be rewritten to include all non-hands-free cell phone use (including entering addresses).


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July 8, 2013, 08:55 AM

how does one prove he was using the phone's gps/mapping system? I am not familiar with this and hope some one in the field can chime in


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