Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Now that the effort to make using a cell phone while driving a primary offense has failed to pass in the Pennsylvania State Legislature a narrower bill is making its way through the Senate. The state Senate Transportation Committee has approved a bill from Republican Tommy Tomlinson that would make texting while driving a secondary offense. Tomlinson says, “With this you're actually, you have to look at the keys and do it. I think this is a terrible distraction. That's why I proposed the legislation." He says he understands why people might be empted to text and drive. He says as he drive back and forth between his Bucks County and Harrisburg offices he is bombarded by text messages and at times he thinks about ripping off a quick 160 characters. The legislation has the backing of Triple-A Mid-Atlantic. Spokeswoman Cathy Rossi says there's evidence to back up the dangers of such distractions. She says, “Studies have shown that for every two seconds you take your eyes off the road, you are twice as likely to be involved in a crash." A separate bill recently passed by the House makes it illegal for junior drivers to use cell phones while behind the wheel.