Monday, April 23, 2012

New Texting and Driving Ban Difficult to Enforce

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania passed a law that would make texting while driving a primary offense, punishable by a $50 fine. Although this law has been in effect since last month, many people still aren't aware of it or choose to continue to text while driving.

A recent article from the York Daily Record also talked about the difficulty that police are facing when trying to enforce this new legislation.  According to the news piece, "It's tough for officers to tell whether a driver is texting or punching in a phone number, which is allowed. Drivers are still allowed to talk on their cell phones. By the time officers can pull up to see what is happening, the driver is usually stopped at a stop sign. If the car isn't in motion, it's not illegal to be texting. Police can't seize the phone, either, to look and see whether it had been in use. Officers can obtain a search warrant to check the phone records, but that step probably wouldn't be taken unless it involved a crash."  Some police officers quoted in this article also say that the law is difficult to enforce because texting usually involves the head being down for a short period of time, which is  not long enough for an officer to be able to spot whether the person was texting or not.

Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving the western and central Pennsylvania area.  One of his major areas of practice is injury or death due to motor vehicle accidents.  He has noticed a trend of accidents involving cell phone usage, both talking or texting, and urges you not to use your phone while driving and be wary of other drivers on the road who may be using their phones.  For more information on his law firm, please click here.

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