Pennsylvania Law Bans Texting While Driving
It is widely accepted that texting while driving can be extremely dangerous. Yet some drivers still text while they are behind the wheel, putting all others on the road at risk.
In Pittsburgh and beyond, distracted drivers cause an alarming number of accidents. Nearly 14,000 Pennsylvania distracted driving accidents took place in 2010, and 1,100 of them were caused by drivers using handheld cell phones.
Very serious accidents can arise from distracted driving, and the victims suffer terribly: broken bones, amputations, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, even wrongful death.
Like 34 states before it, therefore, Pennsylvania is banning texting while driving.
Pennsylvania’s Texting-While-Driving Law
The new law makes texting while driving a primary offense. Drivers who are convicted of texting while driving will pay a $50 fine.
When the law goes into effect, 120 days after the signing, Pennsylvania drivers will be prohibited from reading, writing or sending text messages on a wireless device.
Signing the legislation into law, Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett noted that texting while driving is a highly distracting behavior. Indeed, Governor Corbett said that drivers’ judgment can be clouded by the desire to keep up a conversation, even while they are driving. But the most important task – driving – is the one on which they should focus all their attention.
As the new law goes into effect, Pennsylvania drivers will have to learn to ignore the alerts signifying new text messages and emails while they are on the road. Avoiding distracted driving will likely become a higher priority for all.
Source: Reuters, Pennsylvania joins states with texting-while-driving bans, (http://www.reuters.com:80/article/2011/11/09/us-texting-pennsylvania-idUSTRE7A86KB20111109) 9 November 2011