EAST STROUDSBURG – Today, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown (R- Monroe/Pike) along with area distracted driving advocates called for renewed dedication to statewide roadway safety and responsible driving practices after her Enhanced Driver Responsibility legislation, House Bill 37
, was recently voted out of the House Transportation Committee.
“While cellphones and other interactive communication devices do enable us to keep in touch with our families and work while we’re on the go, it is always important to keep in mind that there are times and places to use them,” said Brown. “The best cellphone use while driving is still no cellphone use; however, House Bill 37 works to balance the use of technology while increasing this driver responsibility.”
Brown partnered with Rep. Steve Malagari (D-Montgomery) in sponsoring House Bill 37, which would allow drivers to realistically use their communication device. However, the device must be “hands-free” with the use of Bluetooth or a docking station. Drivers would not be permitted to physically hold their communication device while operating a vehicle.
If enacted into law, House Bill 37 would:
• Make driving a vehicle while holding or supporting any electronic wireless device, regardless of the driver’s age a primary offense that carries a $100 fine (with no points on a license).
• Increase the fine for texting while driving from $50 to $100.
• Clarify that no person can be cited for both texting while driving and driving while supporting or holding an electronic wireless device at the same time.
• Create a five-year optional sentence enhancement for those guilty of homicide by vehicle, as well as a violation of the hand-held prohibition during the same incident (mirrors the current texting ban).
• Ensure a person under the age of 18 prior to taking a driver’s exam view educational materials provided on PennDOT’s site on the dangers of distracted driving.
• Require the portion of the examination on traffic laws to contain at least one question on distracted driving.
“This legislation is reasonable, realistic and works to cultivate safer driving behaviors with cell phone use, all of which is possible for us to do to help protect each other,” added Brown.
Brown is requesting that constituents from across the state reach out to their legislators immediately and ask them to support House Bill 37. You can find your legislator by visiting legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abby Chiumento