By attorney George Nicholas
There are a of couple things businesses should know about Virginia’s recently beefed-up ban on texting while driving. First, businesses should understand the scope of the ban. The statute applies to sending and reading texts or e-mail messages. But the ban does not apply to reading a name or number stored in a device, to reading caller ID information displayed on a device, or to using a GPS system. The first two of these exceptions make it clear that phone-users may read phone numbers in connection with sending or receiving phone calls. Another exception is key: the ban does not apply when the texter is “lawfully parked or stopped.”
Second, businesses should understand that if a violator is involved in an accident at the time he is texting, then evidence of the texting may be used as evidence of negligence. Also, violation of the anti-texting statute may be all that is needed to establish negligence against the employee and against the business.
What should Virginia businesses do to reduce the potential fallout from employees who text while driving? Here are four steps to consider.
These articles are meant to bring awareness to these topics and are not intended to be used as legal advice.
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