This tragedy need not be repeated. Virginia’s “texting while driving” law is a classic case of a legislative solution with good intentions but counter-productive results. (note: I voted for the original bill also).
The bottom line is that Virginia’s 2009 civil penalty to deter “texting while driving” has zero deterrence value. The only way to stop these kinds of mistakes is to charge this type of behavior as reckless driving (if not manslaughter when death results).
In 2013, the Assembly could simply repeal the 2009 statute, so as to restore traditional prosecutorial discretion. That would make sense, so it likely won’t happen. Option B is to simply state in the State Code that the 2009 civil penalty does not preclude any more serious criminal charges.