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Pa. House Passes Junior Driver And Distracted Driving Bills

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Kathy Watson, the bill's sponsor, speaks publicly. (Credit: Tony Romeo)

Kathy Watson, the bill’s sponsor, speaks publicly. (Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The state House Tuesday approved bills dealing with junior drivers and distracted drivers.

The junior driver bill passed by the House (see related story) contains provisions that make it a primary offense for drivers and passengers under age 18 not to wear a seat belt and puts limits on the number of minor passengers in a car driven by a junior driver.

One House member, Beaver County Democrat Chris Sainato, worries that police could abuse those provisions, “And you see the kids – you think they’re kids and they’re actually in their 20s. And very easily could give a reason: ‘I think I’m going to check these kids out. Let’s see what they’re up to.’”

But the House passed that bill overwhelmingly, along with another measure that would make a broad range of distracted driving behaviors, including hand-held cell phone use and texting, a secondary offense for all drivers. The House bills now go the Senate, where a committee Tuesday gave approval to Senate bill with similar provisions for junior drivers and distracted drivers.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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