3 pieces of proposed legislation looking to force safer driver behavior in Virginia

Legislation is part of Gov. Northam’s transportation package

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Making Virginia roads safer is the goal of a comprehensive transportation package Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.

"This is all about safety," Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said.

The plan aims to change driver behavior in three key ways.

One is a renewed effort, making it illegal to hold your phone while driving, regardless of what you’re doing, instead of a difficult-to-enforce texting ban.

"They'll tell you they were utilizing their phone for GPS," Roanoke County Police Sgt. Spencer Hoopes said.

The second would ban open containers of alcohol.

"There is really no good reason why someone should be in a car, going down the road, drinking," Hall said.

The third would allow officers to pull you over for not wearing a seat belt.

“I have to wait for some other violation of law. It is very frustrating. There's something I could do, there's an action I could take right now to potentially save that person's life,” Hoopes said.

Addressing what police call big problems in our area with proposals they want to see pass.

"We are making our roads safer. We are making our citizens safer," Hall said.

"We're trying to keep you safe, keep you in one piece," Hoopes said.

The governor’s transportation package includes other changes, like raising the gas tax. Click here to see the full plan.

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