Sunday, April 14, 2013
"No officer, I was just typing directions into my GPS…"
Texting while driving is dangerous, but some people do it anyway. This year, Virginia's General Assembly passed a measure that increased the fine to $125 (it was $20) for the first infraction and $250 for the second. But Virginia legislators did not pass a hands-free measure like they have in the District, and as such enforcing the law could prove difficult. The problem: Using cell phones to dial a number or setting the phone GPS is legal. “Distracted driving is a big problem, but it’s bigger than just phone use,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, to the Washington Post. “Even if a law were successful in stopping phone use and texting, it wouldn’t eliminate distracted driving.” Northern Virginia Del. Scott …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Bill would impose harsher penalties, make texting while driving a primary offense.
A bill that would impose tougher penalties on those convicted of texting while driving cleared the state Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the desk of Gov. Bob McDonnell. The bill increases the fine to $250 — up from $20 — for the first texting-while-driving offense and $500 for each subsequent conviction. It also makes texting while driving an aggravating circumstance to reckless driving, and so anyone convicted of such would face a mandatory minimum $500 penalty if they were texting while they were driving recklessly. Texting while driving would also become a primary offense, which means police can stop someone on the suspicion that a driver is texting; current law allows police to charge someone with texting while driving only if they'…
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The “Reduce Gun Danger Act, “Mental Health First Aid“ proposal and “Flexible School Security Act” are designed to curb gun violence and offer protection to schools and families.
Delegate Rob Krupicka (D-45) has introduced three bills designed to curb gun violence and protect Virginia families. The package of bills “offer a coordinated first step toward addressing the current problem with gun violence, particularly in our schools,” according to a statement from Krupicka. “They give new tools and flexibility to communities so that they can better protect themselves from dangerous situations,” he said. “I am looking forward to working with colleagues from both parties on these and other measures to keep our schools and communities safe.” Bryan Porter, assistant commonwealth’s attorney for the City of Alexandria, said he supports the measures, calling the Reduce Gun Danger Act and Flexible School Security Act “common…
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Arlington delegates support bill, which would elevate penalty for texting while driving to include possible jail time and up to $2,500 fine.
A bill introduced in the Virginia General Assembly would make texting while driving a more serious offense — and the penalties upon conviction would be up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. It's not the first time such a measure has been proposed. But advocates say a recent court ruling that differentiates texting while driving from reckless driving should give them the support they need to get the bill through the General Assembly this year. "There's usually about 10 texting bills a year, and they usually all get killed," said state Del. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon. "This year, something's going to change." The House bill, which all four Arlington delegates have signed on to support, would essentially elevate texting while …
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Democratic state delegate from Arlington says he will call for a task force to identify victims, make recommendations for reparations.
State Del. Patrick Hope said he will call for the creation of a task force during the 2013 legislative session to identify any surviving victims of state sterilization and begin the conversation about what can be done to make these people whole. Virginia sterilized an estimated 7,300 to 8,300 people under state law between 1924 and 1979, according to research by the University of Vermont. Men and women were forcibly sterilized after being deemed "feeble-minded" or promiscuous under the notion of eugenics, social-engineering designed to increase specific characteristics. Ten years ago, then-Gov. Mark Warner formally apologized for the acts. Hope, a Democrat whose district includes Arlington, said identifying the survivors of this process, …
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Special session will convene March 21
The General Assembly adjourned its 2012 session Saturday without a budget agreement, instead agreeing to return March 21 for a special session. Though the House of Delegates has passed a version of Gov. Bob McDonnell's two-year, $85 billion spending plan, the Senate has failed to do the same, largely because the chamber's Democrats wanted to pressure Republicans into giving them more power in committees as well as reassess the budget priorities. Budget work groups from both houses will continue to negotiate until the special session convenes. "The people of Virginia will benefit from our taking this extra time, taking time to make sure they are protected," Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, said in a statement. "I feel they’re right at my back …
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Join us for a discussion on the General Assembly results that affect Arlington and McLean.
The entire Virginia General Assembly is up for election today, with the Democrats' power in the Senate hanging in the balance. With just a four-seat majority, the Democrats will try to keep Republicans from gaining at least two seats in order to prevent them from holding control in the governor's office, the House of Delegates and the Senate. Polls close at 7 p.m., so we'll start our discussion on predictions and the results of the races that affect Arlington and McLean at 7 p.m.. In the mean time, take our poll on whether you predict the Republicans will take control of the Senate.