Two Years After Texting Ban, Few Tickets

It can be hard for police officers to tell whether you're texting or simply placing a call.

(Patch file photo)
(Patch file photo)
Pennsylvania banned texting while driving two years ago, but since then has issued very few tickets for the offense. Why?

At issue, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, is the fact that handheld phone use is not illegal. And it's nearly impossible for a police officer to tell whether a driver is sending a text (illegal) or dialing a phone number (allowed).

Since the law took affect in March 2012, 2,342 citations for the offense have been issued statewide, the Inquirer said.

Montgomery County has issued the most citations, with 253, and Allegheny County came in close second, with 251, according to data from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts provided to the Inquirer. 

A ticket for texting while driving will set you back $50, plus $102.50 in court costs.

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving, the Governors Highway Safety Association says, but only 12 states ban all handheld phone use.

Should Pennsylvania laws regarding cell phone use when driving be more strict? Let us know in the comments below!
Leigh April 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Sure Ed, makes sense to ban someone who cares about the world we I've in.
Scott Ritchie April 23, 2014 at 03:29 PM
The only positive effect I have seen is that a review of the phone of a driver who was involved in a fatal accident showed that he was texting at the time and it added to the "he was stupid and careless" evidence. Personally, I would love to see a law against "driving like an idiot" which would cover texting, phone, putting on makeup, reading a book held on your steering wheel, changing clothes, etc... all of which I have seen on 422
More garbage from Patch. April 26, 2014 at 03:11 AM
The law , weather enforcable or not, keeps many from doing it and thinking about the danger of taking your eyes off the road for that long. Some of these comments are unbelievable. Scare tactics and idle threats are very effective and appropriate if used properly and for good reason.
Sean Duggan April 26, 2014 at 07:25 AM
@More garbage: That's the question, in my opinion, whether this law is indeed effective. Currently, the scare tactics seem to work about as well as "scare 'em straight" tactics for drugs or sex. People just try to hide it, and wind up putting themselves in more danger in the process.
More garbage from Patch. April 26, 2014 at 07:49 AM
I tried to imagine what somebody looked like hiding and not hiding texting while driving. My imagination didnt differ nor was one vs. the other any safer. While texting for some may be an addiction it is not for most so that drug analogy doesnt hold much weight here either. I think at least its an attempt at awareness and informing of the consequences even though we may not all respect life the same.


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