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Possible Changes to Texting-While-Driving Ban?

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 12, 2021

In Pennsylvania and other states, cell phone use while driving is a growing concern. Thus, lawmakers have pushed for and, in many cases, passed, legislation to ban the use of hand-held phones while driving. The State House in Pennsylvania recently passed a bill to ban the use of hand-held phones; however, there is now a concern that if the bill is passed, it will actually make it harder for law enforcement to catch offenders.

Current Texting Ban

As of now, police officers in the sate of Pennsylvania can pull a driver over if they observe the driver texting behind the wheel. This means that texting and driving is considered a primary offense and allows law enforcement to take action when a motorist is seen doing this distracting activity.

The New Bill

With the new bill, texting and driving would be considered a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement will no longer be able to pull a motorist over is they are seen texting and driving. In order for a driver to be fined for this activity, another violation must occur. In other words, a driver must be speeding or driving carelessly to get pulled over.

With the rate of accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving caused by cellphone use remaining fairly high, there is a push to deter this activity. While the fine associated with this violation would increase from $50 to $150 if this new bill is passed, the major concern is that this bill may not help discourage this activity and reduce the rate of distracted driving.

Options for Victims

When an individual is injured in a car accident, it is important that they not only receive the medical care that is necessary but also consider the cause of the crash. If a negligent driver is to blame, it may be possible to hold them liable for the accident through a personal injury action. This not only helps to place liability on the distracted driver but also helps with the recovery of compensation for losses such as medical bills, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, lost wages and other related damages.