Former Victim now Advocate against Distracted Driving
A recent victim of a tragic college graduation day crash is now teaching students to put the phone down when operating a motor vehicle. Jacy Good was celebrating her graduation from Muhlenberg College, not too far from Lancaster, Pennsylvania with both her parents. Following the ceremonial toss of her cap, Jacy would begin the short journey home to New York with both of her parents.
It was during this journey that a young driver talking on a cell phone while driving ran a red light causing a tractor-trailer to swerve and crash into the Goods car. Jacy’s parents, sitting in the two front seats, were killed instantly while Jacy was hospitalized with critical injuries and a slim chance of survival.
This is not an isolated incident by any means. According to a recent HealthDay study of a poll from this past November 10 – November 14 of more than 2,800 Americans show that 37% of drivers have sent or received text messages while driving with 18% doing it regularly. And, thirteen percent use a cell phone to surf the Internet while driving.
So, fast forward a couple of years later and Jacy is now a nationally recognized speaker and advocate on cell phone distracted driving speaking to thousands of high school students each year. And while Jacy will never get her parents back she is making progress one day at a time.
Pennsylvania Texting While Driving Ban
It would not be too long after the tragic loss of her parents and her long road to recovery that Pennsylvania would enact a texting while driving ban. According to justdrivepa.org, the law prohibits as a primary offense any driver from using an Interactive Wireless Communication device to send, read or write a text-based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion, and will result in a summary offense with a $50 fine plus court costs and other fees.
- Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smart phone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet
- Defines a text-based communication as a text message, instant message, email or other written communication composed or received on an IWCD
- Institutes a $50 fine for convictions under this section
- Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers