Pennsylvania Association For Safety Education, INC.

News and Events

Anti-Texting Law in Effect 

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania's new law prohibiting text-based communication


while driving took effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 8,


making texting while driving a primary offense carrying a $50 fine.

"Your most important job when behind the wheel is to focus only on driving.

Most people would never close their eyes for five seconds while driving,

 

but that's how long you take your eyes of the road, or even longer, every time

 

you send or read a text message," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "It's

 

not just your own life you're risking; it's the lives and safety of every

 

motorist around you."

The new law specifically does the following:

 

• Makes it a primary offense to use an Interactive Wireless Communication
Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message.

 

• Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant,
smartphone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for
texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.

 

• Defines a text-based message as a text message, instant message, email or
other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.

 

• Institutes a $50 fine for convictions.

 

• Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances
restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

"This is a serious problem and we are hoping that we can educate citizens

 

on the dangers of texting while driving and prevent future accidents," said

 

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. "Our troopers will attempt to use

 

observations of the driver while the vehicle is in motion to determine if

 

traffic stops are warranted. An example might be the motorist continues to

 

manipulate the device over an extended distance with no apparent voice

 

communication.  "Ultimately, we hope that our enforcement efforts will create

 

voluntary compliance by the majority of motorists," Noonan said.

In 2010, there were nearly 14,000 crashes in Pennsylvania where distracted

 

driving played a role, with 68 people dying in those crashes.

Learn more online at www.dot.state.pa.us and choose "Anti-Texting Law."

Check the member Resource page today!!!

New Allstate Report and research on GDL

 

The Allstate Foundation License to Save Report, developed in conjunction with the National Safety Council, shows that if all states implemented comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws, an estimated 2,000 lives could be saved. Further, if all 50 states were to enact comprehensive GDL laws, it could generate savings of $13.6 billion per year.

The report findings are timely, as Congress readies to consider reauthorization of highway and infrastructure spending legislation that historically has included bold public health and safety measures.

Novice teenage drivers are the most likely drivers on the road to have car accidents. In fact, 16-year-old drivers have crash rates two times greater than 18-to-19-year-old drivers and four times that of older drivers.

GDL helps new drivers gain experience under supervised and less risky conditions. The most comprehensive GDL laws include nighttime driving restrictions, passenger limits, cell phone and texting bans, mandatory behind-the-wheel driving time, minimum entry age for learner's permit (16), and age 18 before full licensure. In some states that have enacted strong GDL laws, the incidence of teenage driving related deaths have dropped by as much as 40 percent.

"Teen driving deaths are a real public health crisis," explained Vicky Dinges, vice president of public social responsibility, Allstate. "What's worse is that these deaths are avoidable. We can take very simple, common sense steps that would protect young drivers across the country. Our Allstate agents see firsthand the dangers for young drivers on the road and as a company we are committed to putting an end to this epidemic."

More than 81,000 people were killed in crashes involving drivers ages 15 to 20 in the decade from 2000 to 2009, making teen driving crashes the leading cause of teen deaths nationwide.

In addition to the lives lost, the total cost to the nation of crashes involving teen drivers in 2009 was estimated at $38.3 billion. These costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses for public and private insurance, police and legal costs, motor vehicle damage, employers' uninsured costs and fire losses. These costs were paid by employers, state and local governments and by citizens through taxes, fees and insurance premiums.

"Over the last 20 years, graduated driver licensing laws have saved an estimated 15,000 lives. These laws can save thousands of American lives and save billions of dollars for consumers, businesses and state and local governments," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Our elected officials do not have many opportunities during their careers to take action that will save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in one legislative action. This is one of those times."

To review the complete report and related content, visit www.allstatenewsroom.com.

 

 http://www.allstatenewsroom.com/channels/News-Releases/releases/license-to-save-report-finds-graduated-driver-licensing-could-save-2-000-lives-and-13-6-billion-annually