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Law enforcement faces problems dealing with texting and driving

In Pennsylvania and across the country, texting and driving is still a prevalent problem despite the negative attention and statistical dangers inherent with the practice. A distracted driver can cause a car accident that results in severe injuries and fatalities. In Pennsylvania, there is a law against texting and driving. It was enacted four years ago and the state has issued thousands of citations since then. Even with that, there were 922 accidents and ten deaths in 2014. In 2013, there were around 1.2 million accidents that were linked to drivers talking on their phones. 341,000 were connected to texting and driving.

Although the statistics are clear and the law is in place, that has not helped prosecutors with bringing cases when they believe texting and driving was a direct causation to a crash. One incident involved a driver in a pickup hitting another pickup and killing a grandfather and his teen granddaughter. The district attorney’s investigation found that the driver had gotten a text message not long before calling 911, but they could not prove that he had become a distracted driver by reading it.

Law enforcement is confronted with the reality that it is hard to catch drivers who are texting while operating their vehicles. According to law enforcement, a distracted driver can be just as risky as a driver under the influence. Although the number of citations that are being issued has increased by more than 100 from 2014 to 2015, that does not mean that law enforcement has an easy time identifying when a driver is using a cellphone.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that it does not have to be a device in the hand causing risks. Hands-free devices are distracting as well. When there is an auto accident and the victims or their loved ones believe that it was due to a distracted driver who was using his or her cellphone, victims have options. Speaking to an attorney about pursuing a case for injuries due to negligent drivers can help with an investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Source:, “Police challenged in catching texting motorists,” Melissa Daniels, Jan. 31, 2016