Most states in the U.S. have laws regarding cell phone use while people are driving. This is largely because one of the biggest causes of most auto accidents is driver inattention. Around 10% of the more than 10,000 yearly distracted driving crashes in the state were caused by the use of handheld cell phones. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) first began enforcing laws back in 2011, when Senate Bill 314 was signed by the Pennsylvania governor. It banned the use of interactive wireless communication devices while driving. Later, specifications were made to ban texting as well.
Since then, revisions to the law have increased the punishments for violating these laws, particularly if people are seriously injured or killed in accidents with a texting or cell-phone-using driver. A new law provides 2-year sentences for causing serious injury to people while texting. A death can lead to a 5-year prison term. It was named Daniel’s Law after Daniel Gallatin, who was struck and killed by a woman texting while driving an SUV.
For no serious injuries or death, drivers who violate this law are still fined $50, and points can be added to the license of the offender. Throughout the state, people can also still talk to others on the phone if they pull over, use a hands-free device, and avoid emotional conversations. It is enforced as a primary law, which means an officer can pull a person over for texting or using a handheld communication device without a need for any other violation.
If you were injured by a distracted driver texting or talking on a cell phone, contact one of our experienced Harrisburg car accident attorneys. We have more than 100 years of collective experience getting people the compensation they deserve for injuries and illnesses sustained in car crashes, workplace injuries, and defective products. Don’t be a victim of someone else’s negligence. Let our skilled attorneys help. Contact us at (888) 498-3023 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.