March 8, 2012
Beginning today in Pennsylvania, motorists who are caught texting while driving by law enforcement could receive a ticket. Reports from NBC 10 Philadelphia indicate that the act is considered a primary offense, which means it’s a valid reason for law enforcement to pull drivers over. The offense will carry a $50 fine.
The law has already been put into effect in the surrounding states of Delaware and New Jersey, and it can’t come soon enough for Pennsylvania. In 2010, approximately 14,000 accidents in the state were attributed to distracted drivers, costing 68 motorists their lives.
An offense will not put any points on your license and will not go on a non-commercial driver’s driving record; however, commercial drivers who commit an offense will have the violation marked on their record.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), violations will not be issued for the use for GPS devices, any devices that are physically integrated into the vehicle, or any communications devices that are affixed to a mass transit vehicle or bus.
State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan praised the new law, saying that it’s “a serious problem, and we are hoping that we can educate citizens on the dangers of texting while driving and prevent future accidents.”