Bill to Ban Hand-Held Cell Phones While Driving, Limit Passengers for Teen Drivers

HARRISBURG (March 7) – State Senator Andy Dinniman has introduced legislation aimed at two main causes of distracted driving.

[custom_frame_right][/custom_frame_right] First, the bill will ban hand-held cell phones and texting for all drivers while allowing hands-free cell phones for adult drivers (18 and over) only. Second, it will limit junior drivers (age 16 and 17) to one passenger under the age of 18. The limit on passengers will not apply to the driver’s siblings or relatives who live in the driver’s home.

“Distracted driving is reckless driving, and the consequences can be tragic both for the distracted driver and the innocent motorist they collide into,” Dinniman said.

Dinniman said car accidents caused by talking or texting on a cell phone killed more than 1,000 Americans and injured another 300,000 in 2009, according to federal government statistics. He said the Centers for Disease Control reported in October that motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

“Apart from the numbers, the danger caused by distracted driving is something we can all relate to,” Dinniman said. “We have all read too many newspaper stories about fatal car accidents involving a carload of teenagers. We have all witnessed drivers looking down at a cell phone instead of watching the road.”

Dinniman’s bill will not prohibit GPS devices and will prohibit insurers from raising the premium of drivers convicted under this law.

For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s District Office at (610) 692-2112, or e-mail mindars@pasenate.com.

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