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Texting Ban Becomes Law in PA

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Ban on texting while driving becomes law in PA

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Traffic Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

The governor signed into law SB 314, now Act 98 of 2011, legislation that bans texting while driving on Pennsylvania roads. The new law, which makes texting while driving a primary offense carrying a $50 fine, takes effect in four months.  The new law specifically:
* Prohibits as a primary offense all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message.
* Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smart phone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.
* Defines a text-based message as a text message, instant message, email or other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.
* Institutes a $50 fine for convictions under this section.
* Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

Police will be attempting to enforce this law by stopping those suspected of distracted driving.  In order to avoid penalties associated with this new law, it is essential to keep cell phones, pda's and other electronic media devices stowed away or in the "off" position while driving.

If you have been stopped for a vehicle related infraction, contact and experienced traffic lawyer at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us.

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