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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
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July 4th, 562 crashes for VA State Police, 10 dead

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A bicyclist in Henrico County Virginia died on July 4th from injuries sustained when he was struck by a car. Another fatality involved a motorcyclist in Chesterfield County.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch: of the ten vehicular deaths alcohol was a factor in four of the crashes. Seven of the crash victims were not wearing safety belts.

Over seven thousand tickets were issued for speeding by State police and over two thousand drivers were cited for reckless driving.

I love being a "Yankee Doodle Dandy-born on the fourth of July" but the harsh statistics of every independence weekend remind me to revisit the safety laws in Virginia. Only 7 days ago the text messaging ban for all drivers in the state was activated. Rules do change, and as technology advances, new laws are brought into being in order to protect us all.

The table below is a representation of some of Virginia’s newest driver safety laws:

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Offices.

Cell Phone Driving Laws

Handheld Ban

All Cell Phone Ban

Text Messaging Ban

Enforcement

Crash
Data
Collected

Pre

Pre-
emptionemption
Law

School Bus Drivers

Novice Drivers

All Drivers

School Bus Drivers

Novice Drivers

Yes

<18

Yes

Covered under all driver ban

Covered under all driver ban

Secondary (primary for school bus)

Yes

My sincerest condolences go out to the families of those injured or killed this July fourth. As a father of four children who are all now old enough to drive, I worry constantly that the rules of the road are not enough to protect them. My kids can text at a rate faster than most typists, so it must be tempting to check and respond to all of those alerts. When families come to me for legal help after the death or injury of a loved one, one of the first things we do at Abrams Landau is investigate the at fault driver’s record. We then investigate the accident itself, one of my first questions is always why did the accident occur. Why was the driver distracted? Was it alcohol, text messaging, dialing a phone?

I have represented families where children were injured when a parent simply looked away, or bent over to retrieve a pacifier. Driving is difficult and dangerous enough. Please don’t add to it by texting, or even dialing numbers on a cell phone. These laws are written to protect us. Please obey the laws. And please wear safety belts-they really do save lives.