In case you hadn't heard, Gov. Tom Corbett signed S.B. 314 into law yesterday. The measure, proposed by state Rep. (and now Montgomery County Commissioner-elect) Josh Shapiro, makes it a primary offense to text while driving.
Last month the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed the bill to ban reading, writing or sending a text message while driving. During debate on the issue, Shapiro offered an amendment on the House floor to strengthen the ban by making it a primary offense to text and drive. The amendment allows a driver to be pulled over for reading, writing or sending a text message while driving, as opposed to it being a secondary offense which would result in a fine after an accident occurs.
"I am thrilled that this measure is finally becoming law in Pennsylvania," Shapiro said in a release. "I have fought for years for this commonsense legislation. It isn’t often that lawmakers can truly know the effect of a new law in advance. This is one case where we do; signing this bill into law today will simply save lives on Pennsylvania’s roadways."
Nine states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that bans the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving.
In Pennsylvania, tickets for violating the law will carry a $50 fine.