Pa. Senate softens teen driving bill

    An amendment to a Pennsylvania teen driving bill may halt its passage. State lawmakers are split on whether to save the measure.

    By Aaron Moselle

    An amendment to a Pennsylvania teen driving bill may halt its passage. State lawmakers are split on whether to save the measure.

    When it was initially introduced last January, House Bill 67 gave police the ability to stop and cite teen drivers caught using a cell phone or text messaging.

    But a recent Senate amendment to the measure would allow police to fine teen drivers for those violations only if they’re pulled over for something else.

    State Representative Josh Shapiro (D-Montgomery County) co-sponsored the bill. He says the amendment will make the bill ineffective.

    “The Senate took a strong bill that would save lives on Pennsylvania’s roads,” says Shapiro, “and then watered it down and weakened it and did nothing to prevent future accidents from occurring.”

    State Senator John Wozniak (D-Johnstown) – who authored the amendment – says education, not punishment, is the best way to curb teen texting and cell phone use.

    The House Rules Committee will now decide whether or not to accept the Senate amendment.

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