HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) – Governor Tom Corbett has signed a bill that will make it illegal to send text messages while driving in Pennsylvania.

Governor Corbett ventured to a cell phone store in suburban Harrisburg to put his signature on a bill that will create a $50 dollar fine for sending text messages, instant messages or e-mails while driving.

corbetttextslawsign romeo Corbett Signs Texting While Driving Ban Into Law

Governor Tom Corbett's signature makes texting while driving a primary offense in Pennsylvania. (credit: KYW's Tony Romeo)

“What the bill does is make texting behind the wheel – whether it’s a cell phone, or an iPad, or a portable computer – a primary offense. That means that the police – the state police, local police – can stop you right then and there. And they will.”

The law takes effect 120 days after Wednesday’s signing, which means you have until March to get into the habit of pulling over to the side of the road to respond to that text message … or waiting till you get to your destination.

For the foreseeable future, there will be no state laws limiting your ability to talk with hand-held cell phones while driving in Pennsylvania; that debate will continue in the legislature.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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