Using a cell phone while driving in Virginia may soon be illegal

Virginia could soon be banning drivers from using cell phones in the state.

Legislation passed in both state Senate and House of Delegates bans activity on a handheld device while driving in Virginia.

Current law in the state prohibits texting, reading emails, or reading a text on a cell phone while driving.

If approved by Governor Northam, the Commonwealth would join Maryland, the District and other states nationwide in banning the handheld use of cell phones while driving.

If passed, drivers can be fined $125 for the first offense and $250 for the second and subsequent.

Drivers would still be able to operate their phones if they are lawfully parked or stopped or are reporting an emergency.

The law would take effect Jan. 1.