Motorists in Virginia could soon be ticketed for driving while using a cellphone, but an EMT and vocal advocate for better distracted driving laws, awareness education, and prevention knows from personal experience the cost of others' carelessness is often much more than a few dollars.
Effective January 1, 2021, drivers on the roads of Virginia could face up to a $125 dollar fine if caught with a cellphone in hand. A second offense would double the ticket to $250 dollars.
But Joey Eddins, founder of Hands Free America, does not believe the fine proportionally represents the cost of distracted driving.
Eddins suffers from a lasting injury after she and her daughter were struck by a distracted driver in 2016.
"Nothing can replace somebody when they're gone," she asserts. "And to know that their life was taken by something that was so preventable -- even in my case ... to know that I'm going to limp around for the rest of my life because of something that didn't have to happen, over a cell phone, a text message -- there's nothing that can really explain the sense of injustice and pain that these families go through."
Old Dominion's previous law against texting and driving left a large portion of cellular applications unaddressed.
25 of the 50 states have banned driving with a cellphone in hand, as have a number of U.S. territories, including D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.