Distracted Driving: Know the Latest PA Laws for Safe Road Driving

Distracted Driving: Know the Latest PA Laws for Safe Road Driving

January 28, 2020

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard of the dangers of distracted driving. It only takes a second for something to go terribly wrong on the road, especially if you’re driving at a high rate of speed. From unexpected pedestrians darting into the road to animals, drunk drivers and more, we can’t afford to pay attention to anything but the road in front of us.

The state House of Representatives just approved a cell phone ban to prevent dangerous traffic accidents in Pennsylvania. It will move on to the Senate to see if it will be voted into law and signed by the governor—but while it’s always a smart idea to try to prevent distracted driving, some detractors are worried about how the law is worded.

Pennsylvania’s cell phone and driving ban

If passed, this bill will make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while using a handheld cell phone. The way the law is worded, however, driving with a cell phone is considered a “secondary offense,” meaning that if an officer sees a driver using a handheld cell phone, they can’t actually pull them over unless they notice something else wrong. This has the potential to be either extremely ineffectual, encourage officers to stop people on a pretext or both.

The law also carves out an exception for drivers 17 and under, who are not allowed to use a cell phone at all under the proposed law. Again, this has opponents questioning the practicality of the measure, noting that police officers can hardly tell how old the driver is while they’re operating the vehicle.

Other criticism includes the fact that it may be overly broad in its application, while still allowing for the use of vehicle dashboard touchscreens and other distracting technology—only cell phones are forbidden.

The sponsor of the bill has noted that the states surrounding Pennsylvania have all banned handheld cell phone use, and implementing our own ban will make compliance easier for people who drive between states every day for work, as well as make enforcement more straightforward.

Whatever the state government decides, make sure you do your part to prevent distracted driving. Every year, nearly 400,000 people are injured in distracted driving accidents, and it’s responsible for about 8.5 percent of all reported car accident fatalities. It’s not just cell phones, either—fiddling with the radio, checking your laptop and even eating can contribute to distracted driving accidents. Resolve to set your phone on silent and set it out of reach until you reach your destination—it could save lives.

If you’ve been in a dangerous traffic accident in Pennsylvania and need towing services, call S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. Our family owned and operated business prides itself on offering fast, reliable towing, accident cleanup and vehicle repair services. We want your time on the road to be as safe as possible, even after an accident or breakdown has occurred. When you need help fast, please don’t hesitate to call us.

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