Currently, it is legal for any driver to talk on the phone while driving in Pennsylvania. But if the Pennsylvania Legislature enacts House Bill 37, proposed by Republican Rep. Rosemary Brown, this would soon change. HB 37 prohibits drivers from holding a phone while driving, even if using GPS.
In 2018, the Pennsylvania Assembly failed to enact House Bill 1684, also introduced by Rep. Brown, who represents parts of Monroe and Pike counties. HB 1684 would have prohibited anyone age 18 and older from talking on a cell phone while driving in Pennsylvania unless the phone was a hands-free device. The Bill would have also prohibited drivers under age 18 from talking on a cell phone under any circumstance or using any equipment, even a hands-free device.
Pennsylvania law currently prohibits the use of an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) “to send, read or write a text-based message.” While offenders are subject to receiving a $50 fine, the violation does not count for any points on a Pennsylvania driver’s license. However, under Daniel’s Law, texting while driving may add up to five years to a prison sentence for vehicular homicide if a person is killed as a result of negligence caused by texting.
Thus, for now, it is illegal to text while driving in Pennsylvania, but it is not illegal to make phone calls. HB 37 would effectuate the following provisions:
At the present time, regardless of the law, for your own safety, if you must make or receive a phone call while driving, please pull off the road or use a hands-free device.
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