I know that there’s a lot being written on this subject. I write as much as I can on the texting issue because it’s important to me. Here’s recent information. In the Lehigh County case of Commonwealth v. Steiner,(Lehigh Co. May 4, 2011), Judge James T. Anthony ruled that an Allentown City ordinance prohibiting the use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle was invalid because the Pennsylvania Legislature intended that motor vehicle regulations be uniform throughout the state and this ordinance would subject motorists to unreasonable inconsistencies contrary to the purpose of the Vehicle Code. Defendant’s motion to dismiss granted.
In this criminal matter, the defendant was charged with violating the ordinance for using a mobile phone while operating his vehicle. He was found guilty and appealed. Following the summary. He then of course through counsel, filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the ordinance was preempted by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
After reviewing the law of preemption, Judge Anthony ruled that the Pennsylvania Legislature intended that motor vehicle regulation to be uniform throughout the state. For the ordinance at issue to be valid, there must be specific authorization in the Vehicle Code permitting the City of Allentown to enact such an ordinance.
It sounds like the lawyer in this case for the defendant did a good job in arguing his position. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Legislature is going to have to past uniform regulation prohibiting texting and driving. Otherwise there will be no real teeth to these ordinances throughout the state.
Why can’t that driver next to me stop texting while driving?
According to a recent University of Kansas research study, texting is like any addiction. The study was done by Paul Atchley, Ph.D. , an associate professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Kansas. Texting is a social behavior, and that desire to stay connected is extremely powerful because it taps directly into your brain’s reward system. You want that next hit, and that “bing” on your smartphone provides that next hit of social acceptance.
As of the present date, 34 states have banned texting while driving. But legislating the issue does not necessarily solve the problem. Therefore, as a motorist, it’s a good idea to learn to protect yourself on the highway. Other multicasting motorists give signals. Texting or otherwise distracted drivers generally:
For years, Stuart A. Carpey has been an active member of Teens Against Distracted Driving (TADD), a program which aims to educate teens on the dangers of multitasking at the wheel. Now, in addition to these efforts, Stuart is teaming up with End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) to do even more in the fight against accidents caused by inattention.
EndDD.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the number of auto accidents caused by driver distraction. The organization was founded in 2009 and has been expanding ever since, enlisting skilled speakers to spread the word about their cause. Stuart A. Carpey is now one of those speakers.
If you know of any group, community organization, or school which you feel could benefit from a presentation on the subject of distracted driving, please contact Stuart at [email protected] He speaks on the subject free of charge. His presentations are compelling and important for teens and adults alike.
You may be aware that the largest culprit for this growing danger is the use of cell phones–particularly texting–at the wheel of a car. But there are more ways to become distracted than just using your cell phone. Here are the three major forms of driver distraction:
Visual Distraction — Occurs when you take your eyes off the road.
Manual Distraction — Occurs when you take your hands off the wheel.
Cognitive Distraction — Occurs when you are taking your mind off of driving.
Cell phone use distracts drivers in all three of these ways, which is why it has become the primary focus in anti-distraction campaigns led by organizations like TADD and EndDD. But you should keep in mind that any activity which causes a driver to be visually, manually, or cognitively distracted is a serious danger to everyone on the road. These distractions can include applying makeup, reading a map, changing radio stations, holding a pet while driving, and even eating.
If you feel that distracted driving is an issue which requires attention, ask Stuart A. Carpey to come and speak at your school, office, or other organization. Remember: The best way to fight the spread of accidents caused by distracted driving is through increased awareness.