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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2019 02:24 PM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Municipal Ordinances to Regulate Use of Hand-Held Cell Phones While Driving
Approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in the United States in incidents involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Clearly it is a priority to enact commonsense laws to reduce these numbers.

Pennsylvania’s Act 98 of 2011 prohibited texting while driving, but not talking on hand-held cell phones. In numerous states, including New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Connecticut, talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal. Our state should follow suit and ban this as well, but as yet has not.

In light of this gap, municipalities should be allowed to enact local ordinances banning such use. Legislatively, the new law would clarify the preemption clause in Act 98 narrowing it to preempting local ordinances specifically regarding texting, thus allowing hand-held cell phone use to be regulated.

Allowing such regulation will provide municipalities with a valuable public safety tool, especially in light of the General Assembly’s inability to enact more comprehensive legislation.

Last session this was HB 461.

Please join me in this important step towards empowering municipalities to reduce distracted driving.

Introduced as HB722