A bill to combat distracted driving is once again before the Pennsylvania legislature. However, this 2011 bill is not the same as the bill presented by Representative Markosek, and defeated by the House, in 2010. The 2011 Pennsylvania distracted driving bill introduced by Representative Markosek makes driving while using a handheld cell phone a secondary offense – not a primary offense like it was in the 2010 bill.
If this bill becomes law in Pennsylvania, a police officer would not be able to pull over and ticket a driver for using a cell phone unless the driver was being pulled over for a primary driving offense such as speeding or running a red light.
Pennsylvania is currently one of only nine states without any kind of law against using a cell phone while driving. Lawmakers have introduced this bill in the hopes that it will be easier to pass than the 2010 bill. However, will a law that makes using a cell phone while driving a secondary offense have any kind of effect?
Other bills have been introduced by other state representatives that would make using a cell phone while driving a primary offense and that specifically address the problem of texting and driving.
Our Pennsylvania accident lawyers will continue to monitor the different bills and report on any new legislation.