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Did you know three new Virginia driving laws go into effect on July 1, 2021? This new legislation includes updates to the law banning handheld cellphones while driving, new requirements for student driver safety courses and an increase in the minimum coverage limits for vehicle liability insurance.

Update to Use of Handheld Cellphone Ban

This bill prohibits the holder of a provisional driver’s license from operating a vehicle while using a wireless communication device. This confirms that all drivers, including those with a learner’s permit or restricted license, are prohibited from holding a cellphone while operating a vehicle.

Additional Instruction Required for Student Driver Safety Courses

This bill requires all driver education programs to include instruction on the dangers of distracted driving and speeding. This new law also requires the student to submit an application developed by the Department of Education that provides evidence the student possesses a valid driver’s license or privilege card before being issued a pass to park a vehicle on high school property.

Increase in Minimum Limits of Liability Insurance Coverage

This bill increases motor vehicle liability insurance coverage minimum amounts for policies effective between January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2025. These increases go from $25,000 to $30,000 in cases of bodily injury or death to one person and from $50,000 to $60,000 in cases of bodily injury or death of two or more persons from any one accident. For policies effective after January 1, 2025, the liability amounts increase to $50,000 in cases of bodily injury or death to one person, $100,000 in cases of bodily injury or death of two or more persons from any one accident, and from $20,000 to $25,000 for injury or destruction of property of others as a result of any one accident. Additionally, this bill requires that self-insured operators of taxicabs maintain a policy against uninsured and underinsured drivers with limits of $25,000, $50,000, and $20,000, respectively, for each vehicle.

This bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2022.