Proposed Pennsylvania law would make hand-held calling illegal
Texting and driving has been a widely recognized safety issue within the United States. It is easy to understand that when drivers’ eyes and concentration are on their cell phones, they are not on the road. This distraction proves to be dangerous to both the drivers and others on the road.
Recently, the state of Pennsylvania has developed a bill that would outlaw hand-held calling while behind the wheel. Texting and driving is already illegal. Supporter of the law believe that it is necessary for several reasons.
For example, outlawing hand-held calling while driving would make it easier for officers to enforce the law against texting and driving. Right now, people who are pulled over for texting and driving can simply say they were going to make a call and were therefore putting a number into their phone. They are able to get away with the texting if the officer believes them because hand-held calling is still legal.
The dangers of distracted driving
The new law will also serve to protect other drivers. Similar to texting and driving, when motorists use a handheld device to make a call, they are being presented with a distraction that makes them take at least one hand off of the wheel. They are not being fully attentive to the road, and accidents can result. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimates that 14,000 crashes last year were the result of distracted driving, along with 58 deaths.
The new law has not yet been completely circulated, and some worry that it will still not solve the problem. If the law does pass, people who are ticketed for using a hand-held phone will be charged a fine of $50. That amount jumps to $100 in special zones, such as work or school zones. Exceptions to the hand-held device law include using a GPS, using a device when the vehicle is stopped because of traffic obstructions and using a device when a phone call is first initiated.
A motorist’s duty of care
When people are driving on Pennsylvania roads, they have a duty of care to all those around them. That duty of care is to act a reasonable person under the same circumstances would. When people pull out their cell phones to send a text message or distract themselves in other ways behind the wheel, they are being negligent towards others. This negligence can result in accidents, and when it does, the injured party is not without remedy.
Injured parties in the state of Pennsylvania may be able to bring forth personal injury claims in order to gain compensation for damages they have incurred. These can include compensation for missed time at work, medical expenses and compensation for their pain and suffering.
No injured party should suffer alone, and getting in contact with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that the negligent parties will be held accountable for their actions.