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Distracted Driving Bills Face More Opposition In Pa. Senate

A dangerous number of people under 30 are texting while driving. (Credit: Getty Images)

A dangerous number of people under 30 are texting while driving. (Credit: Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS)- Once again, state lawmakers are tackling the issue of distracted driving and once again, it seems members of the Senate are not willing to go as far as their colleagues in the House when it comes to penalizing such behavior.

The state House last Tuesday passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would make a wide range of distracted driving behavior a secondary offense. But the next day, the House passed an amendment to another bill, sponsored by Montgomery County Democrat Joshua Shapiro, which would make texting and the use of hand-held cell phones a primary offense.

“This House has spoken,” Shapiro said. “In the last session, this House overwhelmingly voted for a similar measure.”

And the House again voted for the amendment, but the bill itself has yet to come up for a final vote, and the spokesman for House leaders says he’s not certain when it will. And even if that measure passes the House, it faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, which has heretofore been reluctant to make texting and hand-held cell phone use a primary offense. In fact, a Senate committee last week advanced a bill still making those behaviors a secondary offense.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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