Lawmakers Urge Everyone to Put the Phone Down While Driving


(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Right now in Pennsylvania, The law really only addresses *Texting* while driving But not much else. Now some lawmakers at the state capitol want all drivers to be forced to put the phone down.  Eyewitness News Harrisburg Reporter Matt Heckel has the story.

A state lawmaker has reintroduced legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania’s distracted driving laws.

House Bill 37 by Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-Monroe/Pike) would prohibit drivers from having their cell phones in their hands while behind the wheel. Drivers would have to use Bluetooth technology or a docking station in order to use their phones.

“Over the years, we have seen an increase in distracted driving-related crashes and even deaths on interstates, and it’s gotten worse as technology has gotten even better,” said Trooper Brent Miller, a spokesman for Pennsylvania State Police. “When you look at your cell phone, at a text message for five seconds, if you’re driving 55 miles an hour, that’s like driving a full length of a football field with your eyes closed.”

The bill would allow drivers to use their phone as a GPS but only if it’s affixed to a surface and not in the driver’s hand.

Drivers under the age of 18 or permit holders would not be allowed to use a phone, even if the car is stopped on a roadway. They would be allowed to use a phone if the vehicle is stopped outside of a roadway.

Currently, texting while driving is punishable by a $50 fine. House Bill 37 would increase that to $200.

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