New laws now effective in Virginia

BRISTOL, Va. - Since it's now July, several new laws are now effective in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia Fifth District Delegate Israel O' Quinn sat down with News 5 on Monday to discuss the new laws. He tells us it won't cost as much to fill up at the gas pumps, but residents may feel the tax pinch in other areas to make up the difference.

"The sales tax goes from 5 to 5.3 percent. If you live in northern Virginia in Hampton Roads, it actually goes up a little bit more than that. It's part of a somewhat controversial plan that the governor had this past session," said O'Quinn.

That plan is the historical transportation bill passed by the General Assembly in its last session.

With the rising sales and hybrid vehicle taxes, Delegate O'Quinn says Virginia residents won't have to wait long to see what's being paid for with those tax funds. "You're going to see a lot of the road projects that have been in the six-year plan for 20 years now start to actually come to fruition because for so many years the construction fund has had to be used to do maintenance," he explained.

Another new law also became effective Monday: texting while driving is now a primary offense, meaning an officer does not have to pull you over for some other offense in order to ticket you. 

The fine for a first-time texting offense is $125.

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