On March 8th, 2012, the Anti-Texting Law went into effect in Pennsylvania. This law states that a person cannot use an Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD), or better known as a Cell Phone, to send, read, or write a text based communication while his or her vehicle is in motion on a commonwealth highway or trafficway.
Interactive Wireless Communication Device
An IWCD is considered an electronic device that can be used for texting, instant messaging, emailing, and browsing the internet. Examples are:
- Cellphones such smartphones, flip phones, and PDAs.
- Personal Computers such as laptops and tablets.
IWCD’s do not include GPS devices, a system that is integrated into the vehicle, or a communication device that is affixed to mass transit vehicles.
Seizure of IWCD
The law clearly states “The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of an interactive wireless communications device, unless otherwise provided by law.” This means that law enforcement cannot seize your IWCD if you are pulled over for using it in a matter that breaks the law.
Send Read or Write Text Based Communication
Text based communication can mean:
- Text Messages (SMS)
- Instant Messages
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Websites (News, Blogs)
While in Motion
Motion, in this case, means when the vehicle is not in park. This does not mean that it is legal to sit at a stop light and use your cellphone.
Preemption of Local Ordinances
This law states that it supersedes and preempts all municipality ordinances with the use of a IWCD while driving.
By itself, using a IWCD while driving is considered a summery offense. If convicted, a fine of $50 will be issued, plus court costs and other fees. However, additional penalties maybe be issued, both criminally and civilly, if an accident occurs because of the distraction.
Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to a negligent driver using their cellphone, call the Law Office of Vincent J. Caputo immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation. Your future? Our priority!