JD's assertion that placing blame on Republicans for the failure of the hands-free legislation is a distraction from the dangerous problem is categorically false.
The Republican base opposed this legislation. See, for example:
The governor attempted to override the differences in legislation such that there could be a straight up or down vote on the concept. He was blocked by the Republican speaker, who ruled this road safety law insufficiently relevant to the road safety bill to which it was attached.
JD claimed it was "pork" -- convenient to his incessant partisan narrative, when nothing could be further from the truth. Pork had nothing to do with it. Appeasing the right-wing base did (as evidenced by the above-linked opinion on a Virginia right-wing news site).
The definition of pork has two possibilities: 1, Pig flesh, and 2, "pork barrel spending".
Neither money nor pig flesh was at issue. It was a Republican Speaker playing to the Republican base.
Let's be clear: I favor the restriction sought, however expressed. It is progress to get phones out of the hands of drivers. The governor made a valiant attempt to do so but was thwarted by the Republican House Speaker playing to a Right-Wing Republican base. Road safety is road safety and highly relevant.
As the right-wingers wrote in direct expression and comments, "for some reason, a handful of busybodies in Richmond want to single out cell phones, going way over the top with intrusive legislation that will punish everyone to “solve” the problem of distracted driving. For many safe-driving Americans who spend dozens of hours a week on the road, this sort of legislation is incredibly intrusive, oppressive, and unnecessary."
I encourage all to fully appreciate the flawed reasoning by reading the link in question. Driving with a phone on your ear is not a right; Driving is a privilege and should yield to reasonable safety requirements like those JD accuses me of dismissing with distraction.
Quite the opposite it true, but that is not surprising.