Pennsylvania texting law breakdown

Specifics of the ban on text messaging that was approved by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Nov. 9, 2011:

  • Prohibits as a primary offense all drivers from using an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to send, read or write a text-based message.
  • Defines an IWCD as a wireless phone, personal digital assistant, smart phone, portable or mobile computer or similar devices that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing or browsing the Internet.
  • Defines a text-based message as a text message, instant message, email or other written communication composed or received on an IWCD.
  • Institutes a $50 fine for convictions under this section.
  • Makes clear that this law supersedes and preempts any local ordinances
    restricting the use of interactive wireless devices by drivers.

The law takes effect in early March 2012.

Source: Pennsylvania Office of the Governor


  1. Ryan Green says:

    Fifty dollars. Wow. I am scared. I endanger people lives and i am fined 50 dollars. Here you go. Who else can i endanger (sarcastically speaking).

  2. Talk about going way back…when my children were young, I drove on state roads and not interstates. If they misbehaved in the car I pulled over and made them get out and walk about 1/8 mile. That brought on an attitude adjustment!

    People need not be eating their lunch, talking on the phone, smoking, and driving with their knees! Yes, I know people who do that. Really, let’s go back to driving! Technology doesn’t always save time unless you’re in a hurry to meet your maker.

  3. What if you are using an ipod to listen to music in your car and you are changing a song. It doesn’t say anything about that in this law?

  4. Just Onedrin says:

    I’m just wondering how they would determine that you were sending a text vs. making a call or looking at directions or navigating through a playlist…. are they going to physically go through one’s phone?

    Granted, one shouldnt be doing any of those things either (while driving) with the possible exception of looking at directions (no different than using a Tom Tom).

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Good call by Just Onedrin says in his comment on “how they would determine that you were sending a text vs. making a call ..”. You picked that out right away. Why did our ‘smart legislators’ NOT get that and fix it before passing. What morons they appear to be by their ridiculous actions.

  5. In the “way back” category, when the family was going by car somewhere distant, it sometimes got chaotic with the four boys commotion. The driver (usually Dad) would just pull off the road, and in no uncertain terms, give us a fair piece of his mind.

  6. This is one of those du-uh laws. People shaving and applying make-up while driving – have they covered it all? While driving, your full attention needs to be on the road. Not much you can do about the kids fighting in the back, but trying actually do something else while driving is just plain nuts.

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