The state of Pennsylvania has recently passed a bill banning text messaging while driving. State Bill 314 was introduced by state Senator Robert Tomlinson, a Republican from Northampton. It makes using an “interactive wireless communication device,” to “send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion.” The law does not prohibit talking on a cellphone while driving, nor does it restrict text messaging while a vehicle is stopped at an intersection. Texting while driving will be punished by a $50 fine, but receiving a citation will not affect a driver’s permanent driving record. Determining whether drivers are using their cellphones to text message, as opposed to talking or using another of the phones features such as GPS navigation, might prove difficult for law enforcement agents. Police officers are not allowed to take a driver’s phone to prove suspicions of texting without an official search warrant, but officers can discern whether a driver is distracted from visual cues such as the inability to remain inside the lines marking a lane. Approximately 14,000 car accidents were linked to distracted driving in the state of Pennsylvania in 2010, resulting in 68 deaths.
As a Riverside car accident lawyer, I know how much damage can result when drivers take their minds and eyes off the road ahead. If you or someone you love has been harmed in an accident with a distracted driver, please consider hiring a Riverside personal injury lawyer.