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Drive Now…Text Later

Pennsylvania is sending a message…drive now, text later.

On Nov. 9 Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation banning texting while driving on Pennsylvania roads. The new law making texting while driving a primary offense carries a $50 fine and takes effect in 120 days.

“Senate Bill 314 aims to put a halt to texting from behind the wheel and is intended to save lives,” Gov. Corbett said in a recent news release. “No text message is worth a human life. The message of this legislation is drive now, text later.”

The new law prohibits drivers from using wireless phones, personal digital assistants, smart phones, portable or mobile computers, or similar devices to text, send an instant message, email, or browse the internet while behind the wheel.

According to the governor’s office, in 2010 there were about 14,000 crashed in Pennsylvania where distracted driving played a role. Almost 1,100 of those crashed involved a handheld cell phone.

State legislators said drivers with an urgent need to text must pull over or park.

“If it’s not important enough to stop your car, then it’s certainly not important enough to risk a life,” Gov. Corbett said.