Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pennsylvania Considering No-Texting Litigation

An increase in motor vehicle accidents due to texting while driving is prompting Pennsylvania politicians to introduce legislature that would make the practice illegal and possibly a primary offense. If texting while driving is made a primary offense, this allows police officers to stop a vehicle and ticket the driver if he or she is seen texting, even if no other offense has occurred (such as speeding or running a stop sign). If Pennsylvania makes this practice illegal, it will join 32 other states that have done the same, including 13 within the past year.
When this possible ban reached the House floor, an amendment was passed to include cell phone usage while driving as another primary offense. Due to this amendment, the bill was sent back to the Appropriations Committee, where it will be reviewed until it is ready to be readmitted to the House floor for voting. The PA Turnpike reported that 200 accidents were caused in 2010 by texting while driving, a significant number that many fear will rise if this bill does not pass.
At the Law Offices of Attorney Douglas Stoehr, we feel strongly that texting while driving creates distracted, unfocused drivers that are a potential danger to all other vehicles that share the road with them. Texting while driving is a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents. Further, although cell phone usage is presently not in violation of the Motor Vehicle Code, a defendant driver may still be negligent and therefore be responsible for your civil damages.
Although cell phone usage while driving is more understandable in certain circumstances, we encourage drivers to be completely focused on the road and only use their cell phone when absolutely necessary. If possible, stopping by the side of the road or in a parking lot while using your phone is a much safer and more responsible option than dialing and talking to another person while driving.
If you feel that you have been injured due to a distracted driver that was on their cell phone or texting while driving, please contact our office for a consultation.

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