Texting While Driving
Pretty soon, you’ll have to resist the urge to pick up your cell phone and send a text response to your BFF while behind the wheel in Pennsylvania.
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.
The ball appears to be in the state house’s court now that the senate has approved legislation that would address junior driver and distracted driver issues.
“Let’s ban text messaging – let’s make it a primary offense,” Allegheny county Democrat Jim Ferlo said.
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 Tuesday approved bills dealing with junior drivers and distracted drivers. The junior driver bill passed by the House 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.
Philadelphia’s ban on handheld cell phone use while driving remains fully in effect, according to local officials, despite a ruling late last week that overturned a similar law in Allentown, Pa.
In addition to a bill that would place more restrictions on junior drivers, the House Transportation Committee has approved two bills that would address distracted behavior by all drivers.
The US Secretary of Transportation has declared a distracted driving epidemic on American roads.
A survey done by State Farm insurance finds 19 percent of drivers admit to using the Internet on smart phones while beind the wheel.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is kicking off an awareness program designed to discourage the millions of drivers who use the toll road every year from texting while driving.