UPDATE: Tickets Issued For Distracted Driving

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UPDATE 12/09/2013 5:10 PM

Cracking down on distracted driving in West Virginia.

According to national statistics 11 teens die everyday in texting-related crashes.

More than 280 tickets have been issued in West Virginia for distracted driving since the new law took effect July 1.

The law makes using a handheld cellphone while driving a primary offense and bans texting completely.

Fines for both offenses are the same - a $100 fine for your first offense and then $200 for a second violation.

After that it is a $300 fine.

Chief Deputy Shawn Graham says the sheriff's department has only written a dozen tickets and that's low.

Chief Deputy Graham says it is still a huge issue here in West Virginia and everyone needs to remember to be safe while driving.

Starting Monday, July 1, if you talk on your cell phone you will get pulled over. Law enforcement in West Virginia are cracking down on distracted driving, making cell phone use without a hands free device a primary offense.

It started with a law banning texting while driving.

"During the course of seven days last month, troopers alone issued 93 citations for texting while driving," said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin during a conference Monday in Beckley.

And now West Virginia officials are taking the law one step further.

"Talking on a cell phone without a hands free device while driving is a primary offense. Our law enforcement officers can and will pull you over and ticket you," explains Governor Tomblin.

The new law means you can get pulled over for using your phone in any way, without a hands free device. Drivers in the valley agree it's a good idea.

Britan says, "I think it's a good thing because driving while texting is so bad anymore and I think Governor Tomblin was right when he did this and it should at least prevent more accidents from happening."

Kathy says she learned from experience the dangers of using her cell phone while driving. "There's just too many people running off the road and not paying attention to what they're doing. In the past I was guilty of that and I quit because I ran off the road. I think it's a good idea."

It's all in an effort to get drivers focusing on getting to their destinations safely and keeping others safe, too.

Governor Tomblin says, "we need to remind drivers that no text, no phone call is more important than a life. Remember this phrase, 'Turn it off. Put it down. Just drive.'"

The fine for first time offenders is 100 dollars.

Starting on July 9th, you can get pulled over for not wearing your seat belt in West Virginia.

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