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Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic among motorists. For some drivers, catching up on the latest TikTok video, text, or mobile game is more important than paying attention to the road. To combat its safety concerns, the State of Pennsylvania is banning all handling of cell phones. And the Keystone State isn’t the only one. 

Pennsylvania is the latest state banning cell phones while driving, and other states may follow

Anytime a driver prioritizes their smartphone screen over the road in front of them, they’re putting themselves and others at risk. After all, a 4,000-lb SUV is a weapon in the wrong hands. To lessen the tide of injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by cell phone use behind the wheel, many states have a zero-tolerance policy regarding texting and driving. And Pennsylvania is the latest state to join the safety initiative. 

According to WJAC 6, the State of Pennsylvania is banning cell phone use while driving. The verbiage covers “handling a cell phone,” meaning motorists should still be able to use hands-free technology or integrated infotainment systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to place calls or use voice commands.

Governor Josh Shapiro’s staff confirmed that he would sign the bill soon. Moreover, the news comes 18 years after Governor Shapiro proposed similar legislation. The law will take effect one year from its signing. 

A motorist seen here distracted driving by texting as he drives.
A distracted driver | perfectlab via iStock

Of course, Pennsylvania is far from the only state to impose such a measure. 28 states have some sort of ban on handling a cell phone while driving, from fielding a call with one hand to drafting text messages.

It’s a good idea, too. According to the Insurance Journal, distracted driving accounted for a greater number of crashes than alcohol use and tailgating. As such, distracting driving and dangerous cell phone use while driving are easy targets for lawmakers. It’s a tragedy that we need laws governing common sense.