Pennsylvania's texting ban has been in effect for eight months and has already led to over 900 citations statewide. However, many officials feel that the new law does little to deter people from texting while driving because of how difficult it is to prosecute distracted drivers.
Under the new law, drivers are still allowed to talk on their cell phone or use their phone as a navigation device, making it hard for a police officer to determine if a driver is texting. Additionally, when a police officer does issue a citation for texting while driving, it can easily end up dismissed by a district judge due to lack of evidence.
To prove a violation, police officers can seek search warrants to seize and examine cell phones, but most officers say that it is too much trouble for a traffic citation.
According to officials, distracted drivers exhibit some noticeable behaviors, like weaving in and out of traffic, driving at inconsistent speeds, and stopping longer at intersections and stop signs. Texting while driving is a primary offense in Pennsylvania and carries a penalty of $50.