The new law says no driver shall operate a motor vehicle on a highway or traffic way in Pennsylvania while using an interactive wireless communications device to send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion. A person does not send, read or write a text-based communication when the person reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in an interactive wireless communications device for the purpose of activating or deactivating a voice communication or a telephone call.
Now Pennsylvania becomes the 35th state to ban texting while in a moving motor vehicle. Texting while driving is more prevalent than driving while drunk, but just as deadly.
The new law pertains to phones, computers or other devices that can send texts, emails, or similar messages. Police are not allowed to seize the devices when they write tickets.
The penalty upon conviction is a $50 fine.
Do you think this will diminish texting while driving?
What about cell phone use while driving?
Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre and Erie had banned cell phone use by drivers unless a hands-free attachment was in use. In Philadelphia, the new texting ban supersedes a more stringent law that prohibited talking on a handheld phone while driving. Local distracted driving laws will become unenforceable now that the statewide texting ban went into effect on March 8 2012.
Is it legal to talk on the phone while driving? Eat & drink? Put on makeup? Glance at paperwork? Fumble with the dashboard?
See Section 3316 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S.A. 3316)