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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2019 02:40 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward and Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Distracted Driving Awareness Month (April 2019)
In the near future, we intend to introduce a resolution designating the month of April 2019 in Pennsylvania as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”, which is recognized across the United States to reinforce distracted driving awareness and education.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Examples of distracted driving include, but not limited to, texting, eating, grooming, talking to passengers, etc.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintains and publishes crash data, including distracted driving crashes. In 2017, there were 15,630 crashes involving a distracted driver. Additionally, from 2013-2017, there were 317 fatalities in crashes involving a distracted driver or an average of 63 fatalities per year – a statistic that has remained relatively stagnant in this period.

As a reminder, Pennsylvania has an anti-texting law under 75 Pa.C.S. §3316 (Prohibiting Text-Based Communications), which prohibits drivers from sending, reading, or writing a text-based communication via an “interactive wireless communication device” while the vehicle is in motion. This law is a primary offense and the penalty is a summary offense with a $50 fine. Drivers can also be cited for distracted driving actions under 75 Pa.C.S. §3714 (Careless Driving) and §3736 (Reckless Driving).

This April, and throughout the year, please encourage safe driving habits and remember the dangers posed by distracted driving whether you are a driver or a passenger.

Please join us in supporting this resolution to help advance public education and outreach on distracted driving and to improve traffic safety throughout the Commonwealth’s transportation system.

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


Resources to promote distracted driving awareness and education include, but not limited to:

Introduced as SR78