Pa. House panel OKs ban on texting while driving

AP News
Posted: Nov 10, 2009 11:38 AM

A bill to bar text messaging while driving in Pennsylvania is headed to the House floor.

The bill won a unanimous vote of support Tuesday from the House Transportation Committee.

The legislation would ban texting by all drivers and prohibit drivers under 18 from using hand-held cell phones when they're behind the wheel.

The bill would make violations a primary offense, meaning police could stop drivers if officers witness them breaking the law. The penalty would be a $50 fine, or $100 if the violation occurs in a school or work zone.

However, insurers could not increase premiums of drivers for violating the law.

The sponsor, Rep. Joe Markosek, D-Allegheny, said he hopes floor action will be taken before the end of the year.