Anti-texting law in effect in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s new law prohibiting text-based communication
while driving went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 8, making texting while
driving a primary offense carrying a $50 fine.

“Your most important job when behind the wheel is to focus
only on driving. Most people would never close their eyes for five seconds
while driving, but that’s how long you take your eyes of the road, or even
longer, every time you send or read a text message,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J.
Schoch said. “It’s not just your own life you’re risking; it’s the lives and
safety of every motorist around you.”

The new law
specifically does the following:
• Makes it a primary offense to use an Interactive Wireless Communication
Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message.
• Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smartphone,
portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting,
instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.
• Defines a text-based message as a text message, instant message, email or
other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.
• Institutes a $50 fine for convictions.
• Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances
restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

“This is a serious problem and we are hoping that we can
educate citizens on the dangers of texting while driving and prevent future
accidents,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “Our troopers will
attempt to use observations of the driver while the vehicle is in motion to
determine if traffic stops are warranted. An example might be the motorist
continues to manipulate the device over an extended distance with no apparent
voice communication.

“Ultimately, we hope that our enforcement efforts will
create voluntary compliance by the majority of motorists," Noonan said.

In 2010, there were nearly 14,000 crashes in Pennsylvania
where distracted driving played a role, with 68 people dying in those crashes.

Learn more online at www.dot.state.pa.us
and choose “Anti-Texting Law.”

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One Response to “Anti-texting law in effect in Pennsylvania”

  1. brandywinebard says:

    I always laugh at those tags they put on the electric cords of (hair) blow dryers that instruct you not to use while you are bathing or showering.

    I sort of get the same reaction with the new anti-texting law. I mean how dumb can you be?

    Yes, the daughter of a friend’s back was broken and her friend killed, when a person who was texting (and on drugs) while driving, hit them in front of the Delaware County Hospital a few years ago.

    But do we now need another law for the lady who was caught knitting while driving (true) and those who are caught catching up on their reading while driving?

    How about a law to punish those of us eating a Big Mac, Coke and fries while dirving to the shore?

    I personally like to sing all the soprano lines to “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Mis” when on long drives. Is that a crime

    Where does common sense come in?

    I keep thinking of the line from Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado”-

    “Let the punishment fit the crime”

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