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Northam's ban on cellphone use while driving starts in the new year 2021.

Virginia Gov. Ralph "Black Face" Northam signed a new law banning cellphones while driving set to go into effect in the new year of 2021.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a ban on the use of cellphones while driving and go into effect on January 1. Northam held a press conference Tuesday morning to share the importance of putting your phone down as you're driving.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles 2019 crash statistics, distracted driving caused 23,246 accidents and 120 fatal crashes.

"It's a serious problem and we need everyone to work together to address it," Northam said. "So, that text or email can wait. This law will definitely save lives."

As of Jan. 1, people in Virginia will no longer be able to use their cellphones while driving.

Use of devices that aren’t hands-free will be considered a primary offense, meaning police can stop motorists for that reason alone.

Violators could face a $125 fine for the first offense and $250 for the second offense or if caught while in a construction zone.

Eighty percent of all crashes in Virginia are caused by distracted drivers talking or texting on cellphones, reading, or reaching for something, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, WDVM reported.*

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