New Laws Could Prevent Accidents Due to Driving While Using Handheld Devices in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania has no statewide law banning talking or texting on cell phones while driving. Since the late 1990s, a number of such laws have been introduced by Pennsylvania lawmakers without garnering the required support to become law. A 2010 attempt to pass such a law bogged down in political disagreement over infraction penalties. Undaunted, State Representative Josh Shapiro, a strong supporter of a statewide ban on cell phone use and texting while driving has again placed the issue on the legislative table.

Concerned about rising accident rates related to driving distractions, particularly among tech-savvy teens, a growing number of cities, including Philadelphia, have implemented municipal bans against texting and cell phone use while driving. The legality of those laws are about to be tested in court. Two Allentown, PA residents fined for violating that city’s cell phone/texting ban are appealing their fines, arguing that a municipal ban is illegal because there is no state ban on the practice.

It is important, however, that drivers see the laws beyond simply a “money making opportunity” for their locality or for the state of Pennsylvania. These laws protect drivers from hurting themselves, or even more unfairly, others.

The statewide ban could help those who become victims of car accidents due to another driver texting on their cell phone receive compensation due to the other driver’s reckless actions. This compensation is important for victims and their families to tend to any damages accrued.
Since laws on texting and talking on a cell phone while driving are new, diverse, and still being interpreted, it is important to contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer with any questions. A Pearce Law lawyer will be able to help you whether you have been the victim in an accident case or the defendant.