Serving The Injured In New York And Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers move forward with distracted driving law

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In Scranton, throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation, distracted driving is a problem that refuses to go away. With people having a seemingly endless array of information and the ability to stay connected, many cannot resist the temptation. This puts them and others at risk of injuries and death in an auto crash.

Despite safety campaigns and entreaties for people to stop texting and driving and using their handheld devices for other reasons, the problem continues. This has sparked action from Pennsylvania lawmakers. The objective is to improve safety, but drivers could flout the law and the risks might remain.

Bill passed by Pennsylvania Senate, but obstacles remain

The new law passed overwhelmingly in the Pennsylvania Senate. It will go to the state House before it potentially goes into effect. If the law passes, drivers will be allowed to use their devices for navigation purposes.

As for using it to make videos or take part in social media, that would be prohibited. They cannot use it while behind the wheel at all even if they are stopped. Calls would be allowed, but it is limited to pressing one button to either receive the call or to end it.

This applies to cellphones and not onboard navigation systems that are installed in vehicles. Those who are calling first responders can do so. Some commercial drivers who need to use a device as part of their job as a dispatcher or fleet manager can use their device.

Regarding texting, it is currently against the law with people being fined for violating it with a fine of $50. The bill would raise the fines by a substantial amount ranging from $150 to $500. Those who have an accident and are charged with a crime for distracted driving – if there were serious injuries or death – will face stiffer sentences with the potential of two or five years in prison.

Distracted driving accidents are often unavoidable, regardless of laws

Even as the plan is to strengthen the penalties for distracted driving, people will likely keep using their devices behind the wheel. This can cause auto accidents and leave victims wondering how they will pay their medical bills, get back to work, take care of loved ones and live the same life they did before.

It can affect adults, children, the elderly and anyone who takes the road. It is particularly problematic for pedestrians and bicyclists. To make a full recovery, those who were hurt or lost a loved one should be fully aware of their rights. Having advice for all that entails is key.