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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 26, 2017 09:42 AM
From: Representative Brett R. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Increased Penalties for Texting While Driving
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will increase the monetary penalties for texting while driving throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Texting as a means of communication is nearly universal and has become completely intertwined with our daily lives. While texting is a very useful method of communicating, many people put themselves and others at risk by continuing to text even while they drive. Despite the many news accounts of accidents and the extensive body of research warning of the serious dangers associated with texting while driving, and despite having laws designed to prevent this activity, the prevalence of texting while driving is far too great. Sadly, this form of distracted driving has resulted in far too many accidents, injuries, and deaths. And, the number of these tragic incidents only continues to grow.

Recognizing the risks to drivers, passengers, and all individuals sharing the roadways in Pennsylvania, the General Assembly has already passed legislation to help prevent people from texting while driving. While these attempts have been helpful, more still needs to be done to discourage the practice.

Pennsylvania’s current penalty of $50 for texting while driving is among the lowest in the nation and has done little to curb this ever increasing danger. In an attempt to further curtail texting while driving, my legislation will increase the monetary penalty for texting while driving by introducing graduated monetary fines. A first offense fine of $250 will bring Pennsylvania into closer alignment with our neighboring states for first offense penalties. As a further deterrent, fines will be successively increased for second and third offenses. It is hoped that the increased fine and graduated penalties will decrease the practice of texting while driving and help make Pennsylvania’s roads safer to travel.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB1761