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State Rep Introduces Distracted Driving Bill for 4th Time

State Representative Joseph Markosek does not believe that this new distracted driving ban goes far enough to ensure the safety of other people on the road. He plans to introduce a bill that will outlaw completely the used of hand-held devices in a car, with the exception of a GPS. Trying to pass this bill for the fourth time, Markosek plans on mirroring Pennsylvania’s new texting while driving ban with regard to enforcement and penalties.

His bill will ban the use cell phones while driving and lead to a primary offense with a $50 fine, or a $100 fine if operating in a school zone, work zone or highway traffic corridor. So why is Markosek so adamant about getting his bill passed? According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were more than 14,200 accidents in Pennsylvania alone in 2011 that involved a distracted driver. 58 people would lose their lives.

Markosek would like to believe it is only a matter of time as there are currently 10 states that ban the use of hand-held cell phones by operators of motor vehicles, four of which are the neighboring states of New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland.

Study Reveals Dangers of Texting while Driving

In Pennsylvania alone there were 5,715 cell phone related accidents and an additional 367 hands-free or blue tooth related accident between 2002 and 2006. In the four years between 2003 and 2006 cell phone related accidents increased 40%. Extrapolate those numbers nationally and it is not difficult to see that this is a real problem.

A December 2007 Clemson University simulator study found that using iPods and texting caused drivers to leave a lane 10% more often. A more recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that of all cell phone related tasks, including talking, dialing, texting and reaching for the phone, texting while driving is the most dangerous.

A multi-year University of North Texas Health Center study found that between 2001 and 2002 the volume of texting has increased by several hundred percent and between 2002 and 2008 the volume of texting has increased by 11,000 percent. Since 2001, the findings predict that roughly 16,000 people have died that can be attributed to this increase in texting volume.

  • For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road
  • A car driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver
  • A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely to experience a car crash
  • A car driver talking on their phone is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident

A Lancaster, PA car accident lawyer can help if you’ve been the victim of a distracted driving accident. Contact Haggerty Silverman & Justice for a free personal injury case evaluation.