Anti-Texting Law, Effective TODAY!

The Keystone State has made strides in making PA’s roads safer for drivers. As of this morning, at 12:01AM, text-based communication while driving is a primary offense. The fine for breaking said law is $50.00. Here is a summary of what the law means for drivers…

It is a primary offense to use an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message while operating a moving vehicle.

What is an IWCD?
The law defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, digital assistant, smartphone, portable or mobile computer of similar devices that can be used for texting, messaging, emailing or browsing.

What is a text-based message?
A text-based message is a text message, instant message, email OR other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.

What is not included in this law?
This law does not prohibit the use of a GPS device, system or device physically or electronically installed in the vehicle.

In case you were wondering, this does not apply to any mass transit vehicles or school buses.

 Here are some reasons why the law was enacted…

  • Texting is one of the major distractions that can occur while operating a vehicle. 40% of teens in the U.S. say they have been in a car with a driver whose cell phone usage put them in danger.
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds; which is the same as driving the length of one football field blind. (VTTI)
  • The amount of brain activity associated with driving can be reduced by 37% when a cell phone is being used. (Carnegie Mellon)

What are your thoughts on this law?
For more information on the Anti-Texting law, visit PennDot’s website.
For more facts and statistics on texting while driving or distracted driving, visit DISTRACTION.GOV.

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