HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Texting while driving may soon be illegal in Pennsylvania.

The state House passed a bill Monday making texting while driving a primary offense and the state Senate is expected to send it to Governor Corbett as soon as today (see related story).

The bill originated in the Senate as a measure making texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning you’d have to be pulled over for another offense first. But the House amended the bill to make it tougher.

“Some people believe that primary gives the police too much authority to come into your car and check, and they don’t think the police can actually tell whether you were texting or not,” says the bill’s sponsor, Bucks County Senate Republican Tommy Tomlinson. “State police obviously put out a letter saying they can enforce this as a primary offense, and I think that influenced a lot of people.”

Tomlinson says he would be happy with either version.

“I think secondary would have done the job. I think primary might do the job a little bit better. We’ve been fighting and arguing about this for a long time. I just wanted to see something get on the books.”

A spokeswoman for Governor Corbett says he supports a texting while driving ban. Still pending in the Pennsylvania legislature is legislation that would address the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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