Pennsylvania House leans on Philly

gas-tax-pump-for-philadelphia-lawPennsylvania state legislators aren’t stopping at voting against cell phone driving bills. Now, they’re trying to force Philadelphia to abandon its recently adopted ban against handheld cell phones while driving.

State Rep. Richard Geist, R-Blair, leads the charge against the public-safety rebels in Philly. His amendment to the state teenage driving legislation HB 67 would cut off Philadelphia from most of its share of gas-tax revenue and other highway funding if the city goes ahead with the local ban.

HB 67 was approved in the House on Monday. It includes a ban on cell phones for young drivers with restricted permits. The House voted down an amendment that would have banned the cell phones, but settled instead for a watery distracted driving provision.

The Philly ban, which includes gabbing and texting on bicycles and skateboards, would be significantly more restrictive, of course.

Geist, a bigwig on the House Transportation Committee, said: “You can’t have separate highway laws in Philadelphia and Erie.”

The Philly ban on all drivers’ use of handheld cell phones and text messaging devices goes into effect Wednesday (April 29) unless the mayor vetoes it immediately. A spokesman for the hizzoner said he would indeed sign it into law.

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