Police Say PA’s New Texting-While-Driving Law Is Tough to Enforce


Police in Pennsylvania say they are having trouble enforcing the state’s ban on texting while driving, which took effect March 8, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In North Huntingdon, police Chief Andrew Lisiecki says his officers scan the congestion that routinely clogs Route 30 and count the number of taps drivers make on their cell phone screens. If they see more than 10 taps, police assume the driver is sending a text message. “All the driver has to say is, 'I was punching in a phone number,'” he said. “It's tough to enforce.”

Citations issued statewide stand at 901 to date, an average of about 112 a month. But even when police believe they have grounds to issue a citation, district judges say they too often have to dismiss the cases for lack of evidence. Ed Spreha, an attorney who leads seminars for district judges about the state's Motor Vehicle Code, said the texting law is definitely “beatable” although many motorists don't fight their tickets because they're relatively inexpensive — $50 per violation — and carry no points against their driving records.

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