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Q: What are the laws in Pennsylvania regarding cell phone use or texting while driving?

At Schmidt Kramer, our Carlisle car crash lawyers work with clients injured in a motor vehicle accident. Often these accidents are due to the negligent and careless actions of a distracted driver who was talking on the phone, sending a text message or engaging in some other non-driving activity. 

The state of Pennsylvania does not ban cell phone use while driving. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) encourages drivers to pull safely off the road before taking or making any calls. Pennsylvania does have a texting law that went into effect on March 8, 2012. The law bans texting for all drivers while their vehicle is in motion. The following are the specifics of the law for non-commercial drivers: 

  • The texting ban is a primary law—police can pull Pennsylvania drivers over for texting while driving even if no other traffic violation was committed.
  • Drivers may not send, read or write texts and emails while their vehicle is in motion.
  • The fine for texting or emailing while driving is set at $50.
  • Points are not recorded for a violation of the texting ban.
  • A conviction will not be part of a non-commercial driver’s record. 

PennDOT crash data shows that distracted driving is a real problem in Carlisle and throughout Pennsylvania. Last year, distracted driving contributed to more than 14,200 accidents. At Schmidt Kramer, we urge all drivers to pull over to a safe location to take or make calls, email or text.

If you have been seriously injured due to the distracted driving behavior of another driver, contact a Lancaster car accident attorney at (717) 888-8888 for your free case consultation. You may also download a free copy of our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident? for more information.