You see them every day on Pennsylvania roadways: drivers chatting on their handheld cellphones. Every single one of them is an accident waiting to happen, and too many of them are potential tragedies.
In response to a recent study conducted by AAA, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is considering steps to make the dangerous practice more costly, according to a recent report by The Intelligencer. Under House Bill 1684, drivers using a handheld cellphone could face fines and have points added to their record. Under the proposed law, police could stop drivers who appear to be talking on a phone without a hands-free device. First-time offenders could be fined $50; a second offense would carry a $150 penalty. Points also could be added to a driver’s record, adding to their insurance costs.
Texting, emailing and wearing earphones while driving are already against the law in Pennsylvania. “The best cellphone use in a car is no cellphone use,” state Rep. Rosemary Brown, R-189, of Monroe and Pike counties, told The Intelligencer. She introduced the legislation and is the bill’s main sponsor.
According to the AAA study:
- The number of drivers who talking on cellphones while driving has increased 49 percent
- About 58 percent of drivers see talking on a cellphone as a serious threat to their personal safety
- About 78 percent of drivers see texting while driving as a serious threat to their personal safety
- About 50 percent of drivers regularly see other drivers texting and driving
Unfortunately, some drivers find bad habits difficult to break. You see people texting, emailing and wearing earphones while driving every day, even though these activities already are illegal. Even under a new law, you’re going to see motorists who continue to drive one-handed while engaged in conversation, favoring the convenience of a phone call over the safety of their fellow motorists.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone violating Pennsylvania distracted driving laws, your life has been turned upside down. You may have suffered major injuries and be unable to work. Medical bills are piling up. Your legal case may be stalled because, let’s face it, the driver who caused the crash is unlikely to admit they were breaking the law.
At worst, your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone’s negligence. At the same time, an insurance company is pressuring you to accept a deal that is far short of what you legally deserve for the physical, emotional and mental pain that you will endure for years.
Fortunately, the motor vehicle injury lawyers at Marcus & Mack have been handling cases like yours throughout Western and Central Pennsylvania since 1977. With offices in Indiana, Altoona and Johnstown, they know how the local courts work and how best to protect your rights and interests. They can help you put your life back together.