New Texting While Driving Law Starts Monday
Bedford, VA -New traffic laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly go into effect July 1.
Texting while driving will become a primary offense.
Bedford Police Lieutenant Todd Foreman says it's up to the officer.
"They get a ticket or warning, depending on their discretion."
There's no official grace period for new laws, so here are a couple more you need to know before Monday:
There's a new passenger limit for teen drivers. If you've had your license less than a year, only one person under 21 can ride with you at a time unless they're family.
Some localities already require moped drivers to wear helmets and register their vehicles. Those moped laws will be statewide. Moped drivers must also start carrying ID.
"If you're violating any of the offenses, you could get a ticket for violating any of them," said Foreman.
Now of course, before they can write tickets, officers themselves must be up to speed on the new rules of the road.
"They will definitely come up. The sergeants will then, in roll call, they'll bring them up and teach the officers some of the new laws. How they want it enforced, or what we need to do to enforce it."
Some departments like Bedford will train their officers through police academies. Others are meeting with prosecutors to go over the changes. They've got no excuse but will likely hear plenty of them.
Starting July 1, there are also stiffer penalties for repeated drunk drivers.