Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers: Anniversary of PA’s Ban on Texting and Driving
June 13, 2016
In 2011, PA Governor Tom Corbett signed into law a bill that banned texting while driving. This law was intended to combat the epidemic of distracted driving on Pennsylvania’s streets and highways. Nationwide, texting and driving has caused the loss of thousands of lives, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and untold dollars in damages. This bill outlawed all texting by anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle in motion. The Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) has compiled some statistics that provide insight into the effectiveness of the 2011 law.
According to the AOPC, between 2012 and 2015 the number of citations issued for texting and driving has actually increased from 1,437 to 2,857. In other words, the number has essentially doubled. However, it is important to note that these numbers do not come close to reflecting the actual amount of texting while driving that is occurring on our roadways—amounting to approximately eight citations per day across the state. Police are finding it difficult to enforce this law because drivers tend to keep devices in their laps, making it hard to catch people in the act. It is not clear from the AOPC’s study whether increased enforcement or more texting and driving offenses are responsible for the near 50% rise in citations.
For the last few years, PennDOT has compiled data on distracted driving related car accidents. The data shows that there has been a decrease in car accidents that are attributed to distracted driving. However, fatalities have increased since the ban on texting behind the wheel was initiated. Recently, there have been greater legislative efforts made to curb these kinds of accidents and distracted driving behaviors – in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, notably – but car accident-related injuries and deaths sadly, are still occurring.
Although the ban on texting while driving was a big step in the right direction to curb distracted driving offenses, it certainly has not been a “cure-all” for this national epidemic. In order to staunchly combat distracted driving, we need public education campaigns, safety improvements, and other policy initiatives to educate the public and change drivers’ behavior.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Pursue Compensation for Victims of Distracted Driving Car Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and suspect that the other driver was texting and driving, we can help investigate the cause of your car accident and bring the negligent party to justice. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP at 800-222-8792 or fill out our convenient online contact form to schedule a consultation today.