Until November 2011 Pennsylvania did not have a specific law prohibiting cell phone use while driving. However, distracted driving has been a continued problem in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania drivers, like motorists across the rest of the United States, are in peril because of distracted drivers. From 2002 -2006 there were more than 5,000 Pennsylvania accidents caused by cell phone distractions. 2002 -2006 was before the explosion of smartphones on the market and before ubiquitous texting had become popular. Unfortunately, the number of people hurt or killed in Pennsylvania accidents because of a driver who was distracted by a cell phone has probably increased, rather than decreased, over the last five years.
As a result of these high number of car crashes in PA caused by cell phones, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law a bill that bans drivers from sending or receiving text messages in Pennsylvania. The law takes effect on March 8, 2012 and will make texting behind the wheel a primary offense, meaning that police can pull over motorists for that violation alone.
Cell phone accidents can cause significant injury. Before you pick up the phone while driving or reach down to read that text, please think about whether it is worth your life, or someone else’s life. The decision to put down your cell phone and to avoid Pennsylvania cell phone crashes may be the most important decision that you make every time you get behind the wheel.