CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today urged West Virginia drivers to use hands-free devices while driving and commended the West Virginia Division of Highways for raising awareness of our state's new law which makes it a crime to text or talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving.
As part of the governor's "Drive. Hands-Free." public safety campaign, motorists traveling through the Mountain State today will now see the message "Drive. Hands-Free. Don't Text and Drive." on all interstate and turnpike message boards between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
"In a moment of distraction, life can change in an instant. Please, don't let your last words be a text," said Gov. Tomblin. "Young drivers, talk to your parents. And parents, talk to your kids. Sit down together and take my safe driver's pledge. Together, we will make our roads safer."
Gov. Tomblin's safe driver pledge is available at www.governor.wv.gov
. West Virginia is one of many states using highway signs today to encourage cell phone users to make a lifelong commitment to safety by pledging to not text and drive.
"Texting and driving is a deadly combination and, thanks to the leadership of Governor Tomblin and the West Virginia Legislature, it is now against the law," said West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox. "We have been working diligently to remind the traveling public of its dangers in an effort to help curb this epidemic."
As of July 1, 2012 it is a primary driving offense to text while driving and a secondary driving offense to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving in West Virginia. Beginning July 1, 2013, talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving becomes a primary offense-enabling police officers to pull you over and ticket you for the infraction.
Amy Shuler Goodwin