Distracted driver bill stalls in Harrisburg

    Pennsylvania lawmakers from both houses say they won’t get to a distracted driver bill this year, despite months of work on the measure.

    A bill banning drivers from talking or texting on cell phones is all but dead in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

    House Democrats and Senate Republicans can’t quite agree on who’s responsible for stalling the distracted driving bill, but they’re on the same page in acknowledging it likely won’t become law this year.

    Both chambers had passed versions of the legislation, and lawmakers spent the summer and fall negotiating a compromise.

    But the House didn’t vote on the measure this week, and Senate Republican spokesman Erik Arneson says the upper chamber was only going to consider the issue if the House sent them a bill.

    “We don’t have any plans,” he says. “We had expected, until the announcement a little while ago, that they would take this up this week. So we don’t have a plan-B  in place, and I don’t expect that we will.”

    The Senate is only in session for three more days this year.

    House Democrats Josh Shapiro and Eugene DePasquale say a compromise had been reached, which would ban all drivers from talking or texting – but make the offense secondary, rather than primary.

    A spokesman for House Majority Leader Todd Eachus says a final agreement was never hammered out, though.

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