New cell phone ban now in effect in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WYMT/WSAZ) - Hand-held cell phone use while driving is now a thing of the past in West Virginia. Starting Monday it becomes a primary offense to drive and talk without the use of a hands-free device.

The new ban comes into effect one year after it was signed into law. West Virginia is one of 11 states in the country to adopt the hand-held ban.

"I think it's needed because it seems people are willing to take more risks than they should when driving and cell phones are just another option for them to take," driver Maher Elharake said.

Lawmakers have said the ban will ensure that drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Though some drivers tell us the new law might be taking the distracted driving initiative a little too far.

"I'm not necessarily against people talking on the phone while they're driving. It's more so the texting while they're driving that's the distraction more than anything else," 'David Pugh of Dunbar said.

Hands-free options vary from ear bud headphones that have a microphone -- to devices that you leave in your car. The prices range from $12 to $100.

Fines for getting caught driving with a phone to your ear can be stiff. Violators could be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and even get points on their license.

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