RICHMOND, Va. — Nancy Egan, state government relations counsel at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) issued the following statement applauding Virginia’s Senate for advancing SB 1341 and House of Delegates for adopting HB 1811. These bills would prohibit the use of handheld personal devices while driving unless they are designed to support and currently being operated in a hands-free or voice-operation mode.
“APCIA applauds the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates for each taking a critical step to protect drivers and pedestrians on the Virginia roadways. We commend State Senator Scott Surovell and House Delegate Chris Collins for their bipartisan leadership.
“Distracted driving – and the ubiquitous use of smartphones behind the wheel – is a major safety issue and is thought to be one of the leading causes for auto crashes.”
Over 800 people died on Virginia roads in 2017 and 25 percent of all fatal crashes were distraction related, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Statistics show that simple changes in driver behavior can make a difference in improving road safety, saving lives, and controlling insurance costs for consumers. Strong auto safety laws and enforcement are an important step in combating a growing distracted driving epidemic that is endangering everyone on the road.”
The bills will now be sent to the opposite chamber for consideration.