PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At midnight Thursday, it becomes illegal to text and drive in Pennsylvania.
That includes phones, computers and other devices. And it’s not just texting but also using the internet, emailing and other messaging.
If you’re caught, you could be fined up to $50, and it’s now considered a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over just for texting behind the wheel.
While some drivers feel they get can away with texting and driving safely, others realize they really shouldn’t do it.
One woman told us: “I try to do it at stop lights, but I’ve also done it driving with my knees and looking up as much as possible.”
Dave Aites from KDT Driver Training devised a test for KDKA’s David Highfield to see how texting would affect his driving.
Aites set up three cones about 30 feet apart and asked David to drive around them at 15 miles an hour, which he did easily.
Then David was asked to begin texting and go around the cones as though the cones represented something that made you swerve on the road unexpectedly.
David had problems texting and keeping up the speed he was supposed to, and when he did, he knocked down cone after cone.
“People say, ‘Well, I wouldn’t do that texting!'” said Aites. “But the problem is this: you never know what’s going to happen in front of you.”
Aites says the ban is long overdue. “A person can’t be looking down and driving,” he said. “You can’t do it.”
He says when someone drives at 60 miles an hour, you travel 90 feet in a second. That means if you look at your phone for just three seconds, you’ve traveled 270 feet and all the while you’ve been looking at your phone and not the road, according to Aites.