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New Developments in Pennsylvania Distracted Driving Legislation

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate voted, 41- 8, to:

  • Ban handheld cell phones while driving.  This includes holding a cell phone to talk, text, surf the web, and check e-mail.  Drivers would still be able to talk on the phone while driving if using a hands free device, unless they are under age 18 in which case all cell phone use would be banned.
  • Limit the number of passengers for teen drivers.  The legislation would only allow a teen driver to have 1 passenger for the first six months after obtaining a driving license with the number going up to 3 passengers as the driver obtained driving experience.  Exceptions would be allowed for family members.
  • Increase penalties for teenagers who don’t wear seatbelts.  The bill would make not wearing a seatbelt a primary offense for 16 and 17 year old drivers and a primary offense for passengers age 8 -18.

The bill now heads to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration. As a Reading personal injury attorney, I am interested in the outcome of this legislation.  Are you?  Do you think that, if passed, this legislation would help decrease Pennsylvania distracted driving accidents?

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