A law passed by the State Legislature in the fall went into effect Thursday, making Pennsylvania one of 30 states to ban texting while driving.
The law makes texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police can pull people over for texting alone, and includes a $50 fine. The offense also includes sending or reading emails and web browsing while driving but allows using smartphones for GPS.
Talking on the phone while driving is still legal in Pennsylvania.
According to an article in the Allentown Morning Call, local and state police say they intend to enforce the law and will pull over drivers who might be driving slower than surrounding traffic or bobbing and weaving.
In 2010, there were nearly 14,000 crashes in the state involving distracted driving. There were 68 fatalities reported in those crashes.
According to AAA, 20 billboards will be placed around the Philadelphia area stating “Dnt txt n drv. It’s the law.”
Also, PennDOT posted no-texting warning messages along various highways. And the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission will place no texting signs on the Pennsylvania side of the river.