EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — State Representative Rosemary Brown proposed a bill that passed in the House of Representatives, banning cell phone use while behind the wheel.
She’s frustrated by one amendment that was tacked onto the bill.
Cell phone use was originally written as a primary offense meaning a police officer could see you using your phone and pull you over but the bill passed in the House with an amendment, making it a secondary offense.
“Meaning they can’t pull you over unless they see you doing something else of an offense, whether that’s speeding or traffic signal, stop sign or swerving,” said Representative Brown.
Right now as the law stands here in Pennsylvania, you cannot text and drive but you can use your cell phone to do things like change a song or type a new location into the GPS. With this new bill, you cannot have your cell phone in your hands at all while you’re driving.
“The hands-free piece, not being able to hold it, not being able to have in your hand at all in any way or body helps. So that’s a move forward,” Brown said.
Representative Brown says under the bill you can still use your phone while driving for GPS but it should be hands-free.
“I think it’s a good idea. I mean, I drive truck for a living and I see people doing all kinds of bad things while they’re on their phone,” said Dan Raffensberger of Tannersville.
“I think if they see you on it, you should get pulled over, yeah I do,” said Parker Argot.
New York and New Jersey already have a similar hands-free cell phone ban in place.
Lawmakers wanted to get on the same page as bordering states so that people driving through are on the same page.
“That would be cool if you all could keep it the same. I would prefer it that way. It would be easier, it would, it would,” said Lexi Norville of New York.
The bill heads over to the state Senate in the coming days.
Representative Brown says she will be working with the senate transportation committee to have the cell phone ban amended back to a primary offense.
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