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Anti-Texting While Driving Bill Makes Its Way Through Pennsylvania Senate


On June 8 2011, legislation banning handheld cell phone use while driving passed the state Senate. The bill, S.B. 314, allows police to pull over young drivers for violating the law, and police can cite older drivers only if they are pulled over for another driving infraction. This “secondary offense” rule is not as strong as it should be, but the bill moves on to the Pennsylvania House, where hopefully that provision will be removed.

It is now an established fact that distracted driving is a major cause of accidents, especially among young people. Driving and texting just don’t mix, but many drivers are simply too stubborn to realize it. It only takes a second to become distracted on the road even without using a cell phone. Studies have shown, for instance, that for a driver who uses texting, his or her collision risk is 23 times greater than when not texting.

Pennsylvania has held out long enough in making use of a a cell phone while driving illegal. According to the website of the Governors Highway Safety Association, neighboring Pennsylvania states already have strict cell phone bans on the books.

New Jersey has a complete ban on using a handheld cell phone to talk and text while driving;
New York state has a ban on handheld cell phone use while driving, which is also a primary offense, and texting while driving it’s a secondary offense
Delaware has complete bans on talking and texting while driving, both being primary offenses.
This is the best chance of getting an anti texting bill signed by a Pennsylvania governor. Hopefully for all Pennsylvania drivers, the House will move an even stronger bill forward and will get it in the Governor’s hand soon.