Below is an excellent article from Greg Gross of the York Dispatch in South Central Pennsylvania giving an overview and summarizing the new law on texting while driving which takes effect throughout Pennsylvania on March 8, 2012. The new law should reduce the number of car wrecks and accidents in Pennsylvnaia. Every Pennsylvania driver should be aware of the new law as well as every out of state driver since Pennsylvania is bordered by many other states such as West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Here is part of the the article. For the full version go to the newspaper website at the following link: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/news/ci_20078695
The law prohibits drivers from using an interactive wireless communication device — defined by the law as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smartphone, portable or mobile computer or similar device — to send, read or write a text-based message when the vehicle is in motion. Such messages include text and instant messages, emails or other written communication, the law says.
However, there are some exceptions to the law. Drivers in cars that have an integrated phone system, which is built into the car and includes voice control, will be able to text from behind the wheel.
Calls OK: The law makes texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police officers can pull a driver over if they see the driver texting.
The law does not, however, ban drivers from using cell phones altogether. Drivers can still type a number into a phone to make a phone call.
When the law was passed, some elected officials called texting one of the most dangerous distracted driving activities.
Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in a crash, according to the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Josh Smith of Glen Rock said the law may be difficult for police officers to enforce but should scare people into not texting while driving.
“I hope it saves lives. I really do,” he said.
By the numbers
$50: The fine for drivers caught texting while driving
40: Percentage of teens said they’ve been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger
4.6: Seconds a driver’s eyes are off the road when sending or receiving a text message.
16: Percent of fatal crashes in 2009 involving reports of distracted driving.
20: Percent of injury crashes in 2009 involving reports of distracted driving.