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Published on Mar 06, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

REMINDER: Texting Ban Takes Effect on March 8 for Pennsylvania Drivers

texting while driving

Five seconds. That's how long a driver takes their eyes of the road each time they look down to send or receive a text message. It is those five seconds that contribute to thousands of distracted driving deaths and injuries each and every year.

This week, Pennsylvania joins a group of 35 states that currently ban texting while driving. The new law, which was passed in November, goes into effect this Thursday, March 8 and is aimed at reducing the number of distracted driving car accidents.

The following is a list of what PA drivers need to know about the new law:

  • It prohibits drivers from using any interactive wireless devices – including cell phones, personal digital assistants, smartphones, and portable or mobile computer devices – to send, write, or receive text-based messages when their vehicle is in motion.
  • Text-based messages include text and instant messages, e-mails, and any other type of written communication.
  • Under the new law, drivers are also prohibited from surfing the web while behind the wheel.
  • The law bans drivers from using wireless Bluetooth accessories as these can be paired with some phone applications to read and write text messages. However, drivers who have cars with wireless integrated phone systems are excluded from the law.
  • Texting while driving will now be considered a primary offense, allowing police officers to pull over any driver suspected of texting while behind the wheel even if they are not violating any other traffic laws. Drivers who are caught texting while driving will be fined $50 but will receive no points on their license.
  • The law does not prohibit drivers from using their phones to make calls.
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“Texting ban takes effect in Pa. next week.” The York Dispatch. March 1, 2012
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