from ABC 7 News - http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0609/635887.html
Drivers caught sending text messages or e-mails on the road could soon face a fine.
Virginia will join 13 other states and the District of Columbia that have banned texting while driving when the new law and hundreds of others passed by the General Assembly this winter take effect Wednesday.
Those who text or e-mail while driving can receive a $20 fine or $50 for a second offense, though drivers can only receive a citation if they were pulled over for another violation. And most motorists are giving the new law a green light.
Kate Sartain is an avid texter, sometimes typing even when she's behind the wheel. "Texting has become more of the norm as opposed to talking on the phone," Sartain said.
But starting Wednesday when Kate puts the key in the ignition she will have to put the phone down or pay up.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports driver inattention was a factor in four-fifths of all crashes. Safe driving advocates say texting or e-mailing while driving significantly increases the chances of getting into a crash.
Drivers say they are eager to see more eyes off the keypad and on the road. "When you are driving you have a machine that is potentially destructive you want someone to focus on what they are doing," said Joe Muwong, a driver.
Kate Sartain says while it may take a while to get used to, the new law will be worth it.
"I wouldn't want a $20 fine just for texting ..I think its definitely a worthwhile cause," added Sartain.
The law makes an exception for emergency responders like paramedics or police officers, or those reporting an emergency. Laws that ban selling novelty cigarette lighters to minors, allow political apparel at the polls and create a "Choose Life" license plate are among those getting ready to take effect. Virginia's new ban on smoking in most restaurants doesn't begin until December.