Harrisburg, PA – Rep. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) today voted in support of legislation to ban texting while driving. The House voted 188-7 to approve Senate Bill 314.
The bill would make it a primary offense for any driver to send or receive text messages from a wireless communication device while an automobile is in motion, meaning a law enforcement officer can pull over a driver solely for this offense. Anyone who is found texting while operating a motor vehicle will be charged with a summary offense and a $50 fine.
“This legislation is vital to protect the safety of all Pennsylvania motorists,” Scavello said. “It is sadly true that there are significant numbers of fatalities due to distracted driving from sending or receiving text messages. We are hopeful that this legislation will help curb the act of texting while driving and save lives.”
Legislation banning texting while driving has already been enacted in 32 states.
The House recently passed another important driver safety bill, House Bill 9, which is now law. It updates Pennsylvania’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) law for young drivers. “Lacey’s Law” increases the amount of behind-the-wheel training a teen must complete before earning a license, limits the number of passengers for young drivers, and makes the failure to properly buckle up a primary offense.
Senate Bill 314 now heads back to the Senate for approval.