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'Legal Tidbits': Local Attorney Updates Public On New Laws
By William Wilson
 
Covington, VA (July 28, 2020) - The 2020 session of the Virginia Legislature passed a number of laws most of which went into effect July 1st 2020. Several of these may be of importance to you:

     •     Va. Code Section 46.2.924. This amended code section added the requirement that drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle has stopped. Before this amendment, the code section only required drivers to “yield the right of way.” This statute applies when a pedestrian is crossing a highway at any marked crosswalk, at any regular pedestrian crossing, or at any intersection where the speed is more then 35 mph.

     •     Va. Code Section 46.2.862. The amendment to this code section now makes a person guilty of reckless driving if they were driving over 85 mph. Prior to this amendment, a person was guilty of reckless driving if they were driving over 80 miles per hour.

     •     Va. Code 32.1-137.07. This new code section states that a person who receives emergency services from an out-of-network healthcare provider is not required to pay the out-of-network provider any amount more than the applicable cost-sharing requirement that would apply if the services were considered in-network by the individual's health insurer.

Another new law coming into effect on January 1, 2021, that I am keeping an eye on is because of a “distracted driver” case I have going, is Va. Code 46.2-1078.1. We have all seen drivers even tractor-trailer drivers using handheld devices. They always have that “glazed” look that indicates their minds are not on driving. This statute makes it illegal to use a handheld communication device while driving unless you are lawfully stopped and parked. This statute is long overdue and should help to greatly decrease distracted driving.

Until later, stay safe.

William Wilson
 
 
 

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