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Texting and driving in Pennsylvania

Engaging in distracted driving is a broad term that refers to many different types of behaviors. Distracted driving is any type of behavior that prevents you from having full focus on the road and your safe driving. It may be talking on the phone, engaging with other people in the car and indeed texting while driving.

Texting and driving is responsible for many fatalities each year, and for these reasons, it is illegal. But how the law defines and prosecutes the act of texting and driving can be confusing. The law is in place primarily to deter drivers from risking their own and other people's lives for the sake of a text message. These are the consequences you can expect to face if you text and drive.

How is texting and driving defined under the law?

If you are found to be using any type of wireless phone, reader, computer or other electronic device for the purpose of reading or sending messages, this is defined as texting while driving. It means that you have acted dangerously since you have engaged in distracted driving.

What are the consequences of texting while driving?

If you are found to be texting while driving, you can expect to be charged with a $50 fine, and you will need to pay court fees in addition. If you are a noncommercial driver, there will be no consequences for your drivers' record.

If you believe that you have been falsely accused of texting while driving, you should look carefully into how the law defines it before taking action.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transport, "Distracted Driving," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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