State Lawmakers Look To Crack Down On Teen Drivers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The State House is looking at ways to crack down on teens and technology behind the wheel.

On Monday, lawmakers are set to vote on some sweeping changes that would bar drivers from texting and would keep teens from playing taxi driver.

Sure, many drivers think it’s okay to text and talk, but AAA says not so fast.

“Our members, 93 percent of them, support eliminating texting while driving, because it is a big problem,” said Bevi Powell, of AAA. “When you take your eyes off of the road for more than two seconds, your chance of a crash doubles.”

Next week, state lawmakers are set to take a vote on a bill that would prohibit texting and driving behind the wheel.

State Rep. Joe Markosek, who used to chair the House Transportation Committee, has been behind similar pushes in the past – which passed the House, but not the Senate.

This might all sound familiar, but one thing the bill doesn’t include is an outright ban on talking and driving. The only thing this will affect is the ability to text.

There are some other limitations, though. You won’t be able to pull out your iPod and pick out music while you’re driving, you won’t be able to plop down your iPad or laptop and put it in the passenger’s seat.

However, you will be able to do things like punch in an address on your GPS, even while the car is moving.

Even more notable are proposed new laws for teen drivers, like boosting the number of required hours for teen drivers with a learner’s permit, make a lack of seat belts a primary offense and limit the number of passengers a teen driver can carry to one non-family member.

“That increases the distractions and that increases the likelihood of a crash,” says Powell.

If it passes the Republican led House and Senate, it could take effect within 60 days.

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  • jaydog

    Driving is a privilege NOT a right – most people seem to always conveniently forget this. Ban ALL cells too, except the 911 signal. The research has been there for a few years now concerning distracted driving and accidents.

    Again, driving is a privilege and not a inalienable right.

  • Irish Eyes

    Teenagers aren’t the only ones distracted while driving. Often times when a car on the road is going below speed limiit, they are usually on the phone or texting, and totally oblivious to their surroundings, and I’m talking about adults. Also, I found often that when I’m behind someone and the light changes, and they haven’t moved, it causes the people behind them to miss the light, and guess what – they are on the phone or texting! This is a problem for both teenagers and adults alike. It used to be people putting on makeup or reading the paper, but now cell phones are the new distraction and age is not factor.

  • will

    Its not.jyst the teens that we should ban with texting and driving. We should make it an effort to do sometthing about old people driving we all know that old people cannot drive safely lile 70 or over

  • Joyce Wallack

    Im sorry but alot of the adults are just as bad as some teens so please don’t blame it all on teens

  • Hoss

    If any laws banning texting while driving, cell phone use, etc., are enacted the laws MUST be written so the violations are a primary offense. That way the police can stop a person solely for texting while driving, for example. Many states have laws which use of cell phones, texting, etc., while driving is a secondary offense. Those laws are only applicable if a person gets stopped for a primary offense like speeding. Secondary offense laws are tougher to enforce and do not have the impact of primary offense laws. Make those laws primary offenses and soon!

  • Mayor of GBD

    would the law include Police Officers yapping on cell phones and typing plates into a computer while driving? Hmmmmm, different laws for different folks.

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