NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - New Kent County deputies are teaming up with Drive SMART Virginia to enforce a new federal regulation that bans truck drivers from using handheld devices behind the wheel.
Under the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules, using a handheld device while driving is considered a primary offense for truck drivers.
The change led to the launch of a new initiative called "Phone Down, Just Drive."
The national pilot program was launched in New Kent County this year. In three weeks, deputies have issued 100 tickets for handheld devices and also found seat belt and other driving violations.
"The goal of this campaign is to not write tickets," said Janet Brooking, a spokesperson for Drive SMART Virginia. "The goal is to have increased enforcement and a huge education campaign."
Drive SMART Virginia handed out pamphlets at area rest stops Tuesday, as deputies patrolled the Interstate 64 corridor.
WAVY.com's Anne McNamara rode along with deputies. See what they found in the video above.
If successful in Virginia, the program could expand into other states as early as next year.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.
Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools told WAVY.com at least three city school buses ran substantially late Wednesday afternoon, delivering children home several hours after dismissal.
Plans to enhance a popular park in Smithfield are on hold. Some people say City Council is trying to commercialize a natural and historic treasure, and leave them out of the loop.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
A police standoff at a Newport News home turned deadly Wednesday evening.