PA Ready to Ban Hand-Held Cell Phone Use

Senate Bill 37 has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. With that signing Pennsylvania would become the 27th state to ban hand-held cellphone use while driving.

Handheld cellphone use is already illegal in all the states that border Pennsylvania.

The bill bans holding your phone up to your ear, in front of you, or any type of texting, typing, or scrolling. It also promotes education efforts by requiring minors to learn about distracted driving and adding at least one question to the driver’s exam about distracted driving.

The measure makes using a hand-held device behind the wheel a summary offense with a $50 fine and no points on the driver’s license. However, drivers will not be fined for at least two years.

A full year must pass before the law can go into effect and then once it does, law enforcement will only issue written warnings for the first 12 months.

The bill does contain certain exemptions: if you’re using a phone exclusively as a GPS, making a call to 911, or using hands-free methods – such as Bluetooth, a vehicle’s connectivity system, earbuds, or a phone mount.

Gov. Shapiro is fully expected to sign the bill.

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