Burnett & Williams

Loudoun County Traffic Law Changes

Loudoun County Traffic Law Changes

Sheriff Wants More Legal Options For Texting Accidents and Other Crashes

driver looking at phone in car

As reported in the Leesburg Today, an interesting debate was engaged at a recent Loudoun supervisors committee meeting over whether there should be more options for charging at-fault motorists in fender benders.  Sheriff Mike Chapman asked the committee to look into creating new local ordinances that would allow for charging drivers with “failure to give full time and attention to driving,” and “failing to keep a vehicle under control.”

These charges would be more general than some of the technical charges currently on the books.  In arguing his position, Sheriff Chapman said that most of the current charges available are so hard to prove that often the only option is to charge drivers with reckless driving, which carries heavy penalties.

In an interesting twist, though, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman disagreed with Sheriff Chapman, arguing that no new laws are needed because there are many lesser traffic charges that can be applied in an auto accident under existing state code.

Ashburn’s supervisor Ralph Buona and the rest of the finance committee sided with the sheriff, voting to send his proposal to the full Board of Supervisors for further discussion.  Knowing that distracted driving is an increasing cause of auto injury, we hope the Board will work diligently with Attorney Plowman and Sheriff Chapman to craft a smart solution for the residents of Loudoun County.