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Understanding the texting and driving ban in Pennsylvania

We all know that when we are behind the wheel, we shouldn't be using our cellphones at the same time. Horror stories of fatal car crashes that occur while using Snapchat or updating Facebook statuses are rife in the media, yet most of us are still tempted to catch a quick glance of our screens every time we hear our phones buzz.

As well as the dangers of cellphone usage while driving, it is also illegal in the state of Pennsylvania. This means that if a police officer notices that you are using your phone while driving, they are able to pull you over and fine you on the spot.

What type of activities does the texting while driving ban prohibit?

The ban is most commonly known as the "text messaging ban." But the law is broader when it comes to the types of prohibited behaviors. It is unlawful to use your cellphone in any manner while driving in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This includes talking on the phone without a hands-free device, texting, using navigational aids that aren't hands-free or recording anything using apps like Snapchat.

What are the consequences of being caught using a phone while driving?

Although using a phone while driving is punishable, it carries one of the mildest sentences of any traffic violation. You will likely have to pay a $50 fine but not rack up any points against your driver's license.

If you believe you have been subject to an unfair traffic violation charge in Pennsylvania, it is a good idea to learn more about your options.

Source: DMV, "Pennsylvania Distracted Driving Laws," accessed May 24, 2018

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