Bill Banning Handheld Cell Phones While Driving

Pennsylvania might be the next state to make it illegal to use handheld cell phones while driving. The House of Representatives passed a law on Tuesday to help prevent distracted driving.

The bill, known as SB 37, was approved by the House with a vote of 124 in favor and 77 against. The legislation, sponsored by Republican Senator Rosemary Brown, has already been approved by the Senate. However, it needs to go back to the Senate for final approval because the House of Representatives made some changes to the bill.

If the Senate approves it, the bill will go to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law. “According to a report, House Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Neilson, who is from Philadelphia, said that we need to take stronger action against distracted driving.” “Drivers should stop using their phones and focus on the road.”

The ban on interactive mobile devices would make the existing law from 2012, which already prohibits texting while driving, apply to more types of devices. The bill’s text defines a “interactive mobile device” as a device that is held with at least one hand or a part of the body and is dialed or answered by pressing more than one button.

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The bill states that drivers can only use their handheld devices to call 911 or first responders. The law does not apply to a device that is only used for navigation or if the driver has pulled off the road and stopped their vehicle.

Drivers who break the law will receive a $50 fine. However, during the first year of the law, authorities will only give a written warning instead of a fine.

If the law is passed, Pennsylvania would join 26 other states, including all the states that border Pennsylvania, in prohibiting the use of handheld cell phones while driving. This information is from a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The bill was opposed by some people who believed that it unfairly focuses on those who cannot afford cars with hands-free technology, according to the Post-Gazette.

“Does this unfairly disadvantage low-income individuals who cannot afford hands-free devices?” Before voting for the bill, Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican from Centre, stated this to the publication. “Those people will be stopped by the police more frequently.”

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