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Discussing distracted driving and Pennsylvania's laws

In the last month, we've written a couple of posts that focus on teenage drivers -- who are more prone to being distracted behind the wheel -- and self-driving cars. The slant is this: technology and driving are becoming intertwined. In some ways, this is a good thing. In other ways, this is a dangerous development. No driver should have their cellphone out while they are operating a powerful vehicle, nor should a driver be looking at a GPS device or a video screen or fiddling with the radio.

Distracted driving is a major problem, and it will continue to be a problem even if self-driving cars become "a thing." What if a self-driving car has an emergency and it is necessary for the person inside to take control? Wouldn't that person need to be off of their cellphone and aware of their surroundings to do so?

But we digress. We want to talk about one of the most important road safety laws on the books right now in the state of Pennsylvania: the ban on texting while driving for all drivers. That's it. It's that simple. Most other states have laws that address distracted driving. Some are as simple as the Pennsylvania law. Others have a bevy of laws that address distracted driving in a more intricate and segmented way.

The point is that distracted driving -- or texting while driving -- needs to be confronted directly. No one should be doing it, but if they do and they are involved in a crash, then they should absolutely be held responsible.

Source: Distraction.gov, "State Laws, Pennsylvania," Accessed Oct. 28, 2016

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