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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 22, 2017 03:44 PM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. and Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Cell Phone Ban for Novice Drivers
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation for a primary law prohibiting novice drivers (16 and 17 years of age) from using cell phones while driving in this Commonwealth.

Distracted driving is a serious traffic safety issue for novice drivers. Novice drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers age 20 and older.

Our legislation will follow provisions from the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and make Pennsylvania eligible for the federal distracted driving incentive grant. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the 38th state to ban cell phone use by novice drivers.

In 2015, there were 14,810 crashes in Pennsylvania involving a distracted driver. Additionally, from 2011-2015, there were approximately 280 distracted driving fatal crashes or an average of 57 fatal crashes per year – a statistic that has remained stagnant in this period.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to strengthen our distracted driving laws.

If you have any questions, please contact Nolan Ritchie, Senator Rafferty’s Office, at nritchie@pasen.gov or Jason Gerard, Senator Sabatina’s Office, at jgerard@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB786