Pennsylvania State Senators Teplitz and Wosniak are joined by Distracted Driving Speaker Joel Feldman of EndDD.org to announce introduction of new legislation that would limit drivers to hands-free use of cell phones
Proposed new distracted driving legislation was announced at the state capitol in a news conference on April 14th.
The legislation would prohibit the hand held use of cell phones for making or receiving calls and violation of the law would be a secondary offense, meaning that the motorist could not be given a ticket for using the hand-held cell phone only, without another infraction. Co-sponsors of the legislation, Senators Teplitz and Wosniak, discussed the distracted driving problem in Pennsylvania and urged drivers to focus on driving only. They are hopeful that with education and enforcement of the law, if enacted, that drivers’ behaviors will change for the better.
“We need legislation, enforcement and education to change driving behaviors and reduce distracted driving. This proposed legislation will raise awareness and is a first step in effecting behavior change in Pennsylvania. I am also gratified to see that the Senate has officially made April, Distracted Driving Awareness month in PA,” said Feldman.
The bill would also call upon PA DOT to do educational programs about distracted driving and the law prior to tickets being written.
“This proposed legislation is not the strongest that could be enacted but that reflects political realities. What I like is that distracted driving will receive more attention, and through the educational efforts, more PA drivers will learn about all types of distracted driving and will be able to make changes to drive distraction-free.” Feldman talked about the circumstances of his daughter Casey’s death by a distracted driver in 2009 and stressed that parents need to be better role models for their children when it comes to safe, distraction-free driving. Given that teens die in car crashes at about three times the rate of any other age group and recent studies have shown that distractions may be involved in over half of serious teen crashes, the role of parents in keeping our teens safe cannot be over emphasized.
Feldman spoke of having presented to nearly 50,000 teens across the country and that more than 60% of the teens say that their moms and dads drive distracted. “Do as I say and not as I do is a risky way to try to teach our teens to be safe drivers,” concluded Feldman.
View the WGAL TV news coverage here and the FOX43 TV coverage below: