Pa. ban on texting while driving begins early next year

    The law banning texting while driving in Pennsylvania goes into effect in about four months.

    Gov. Tom Corbett, who signed the law Wednesday, said he regularly sees people texting behind the wheel when he’s on the highway.

    “They can’t see out of the side-view mirror if they have it up on the left-hand side. They’re totally distracted,” he said.

    The law makes texting while driving a primary offense, so police will be able to pull over anyone they suspect is flouting the rule.

    State Sen. Robert Tomlinson, a Republican of Bucks County, sponsored the bill, which was stripped of an amendment to make driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone illegal.

    He said he doesn’t think this is the end of efforts to pass such a measure.

    “I think that debate’s going to go on. I think, I believe, that the House is going to take up a cell phone bill. So we’ll go into that debate on cell phones,” Tomlinson said. “Hand-held phones, I think, are dangerous.”

    Tomlinson and Corbett both disagree with critics who say the texting ban is unenforceable. They point to a letter from the State Police endorsing the law.

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