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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 11, 2012 04:00 PM
From: Senator Jim Ferlo
To: All Senate members
Subject: Banning Cell Phone Voice Communications
In the near future I will be introducing legislation to ban the use of cell phones for voice communications, in addition to the existing ban on text messaging.

The bill makes using a handheld cell phone for voice communication a primary offense with a summary penalty and a $50 fine. Public safety personnel and drivers reporting emergency situations will be exempt from the prohibition. Hands free devices such as Bluetooth-enabled earpieces will be permitted under the law.

Police have repeatedly reported that the current texting ban is insufficient and too difficult to enforce to be effective. The use of cell phones is nearly as distracting as texting and there is ample evidence that it leads to avoidable accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that distracted driving, which includes the use of cell phones for phone calls, contributes to between 20 and 30 percent of all traffic accidents.

Introduced as SB415