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Distracted driving focus of new law in Pennsylvania

As Pennsylvania residents everyone ready themselves for the fast-approaching holiday season, plans for celebrations abound. Many are also concerned about the potential increased danger this may bring due to people who drink at parties and then drive home. While certainly drunk driving is a serious problem in the state and around the nation, there is another problem that people should be equally aware of - distracted driving.

For a long time, distracted driving has been known to be dangerous but is not something that results in penalties anywhere near as harsh as those for drunk driving. In early November, the Governor signed a bill that made major gains for Pennsylvania residents as it recognizes the tragic realities of texting while driving. The bill was named Daniel's Law in honor of a former volunteer fire chief who was killed three years ago by a texting driver.

After the man's death, the driver spent two months in jail and paid $250. Under Daniel's law, that same driver may be sentenced to spend up to five years in jail. Accidents that result in the serious injury of another person may result in a texting driver spending up to two years in jail.

With smartphones and other electronic devices now being such commonly used items by most people, the gravity of texting and driving has become an everyday risk to people in Pennsylvania. Anyone involved in a distracted driving accident might want to get help from an attorney to seek compensation.


 Source: The Tribune-Democrat, "Wolf signs Daniel's Law bill creating tougher penalties for texting while driving," Nancy Lowry, Nov. 5, 2016

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