Pennsylvania’s New Potential Distracted Driving Law
Pennsylvania law makes it illegal for a driver to send, read, or write a text or email while the vehicle is in motion. However, enforcing the law to make other drivers safe from car accidents caused by texting and emailing is very difficult. Pennsylvania police officers have written far fewer citations than they would have liked because of the difficulties associated with prosecuting the existing laws. A push continues for Senate legislation to place a ban on drivers making calls with hand-held mobile devices.
To this end, Senator Rob Teplitz, Harrisburg, introduced a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to make a telephone call or talk with a hand held device while the vehicle is in motion. His legislation would make violations a summary secondary offense with a fine of $50 for a first violation, $100 for a second violation and $150 for a third or subsequent violation. Senator Teplitz said academic studies show that dialing or reaching for a phone are dangerous activities for someone driving.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, more than 14,800 crashes involved a distracted driver in 2015, with 66 deaths resulting from those crashes. A driver who causes a collision while using a hand held device may also be liable to punitive damages. If you or someone you know was injured by a distracted driver, contact Lancaster car accident lawyer Chad Rankin or Bill Gregory at Rankin & Gregory, LLC for a free legal consultation to determine the full extent of your rights. They can be reached at rginjurylaw.com, (717) 656-5000, at 2173 Embassy Drive, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603, or at 342 East Main Street, Leola, Pennsylvania.