November 14, 2011 | Washington, DC
Monday, November 14, 2011
Contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today commended Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for signing a strong new law that prohibits texting while driving.
The new law makes Pennsylvania the 35th state to prohibit texting behind the wheel. Under the new law, which takes effect in early March 2012, violators can be fined $50.
"By signing this tough texting ban into law, Governor Corbett has taken a critical step toward creating safer roads for everyone in Pennsylvania," said Secretary LaHood. "Drivers need to remember that no text or call is worth a life."
With the addition of Pennsylvania, 35 states, the District of Columbia and Guam have now banned text messaging by all drivers. Nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have prohibited all hand-held cell phone use while driving.
In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. The U.S. DOT has launched a dedicated website, www.distraction.gov, to provide the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving.
The Department has also hosted two national summits devoted to the issue, crafted sample legislation which states can use to adopt distracted driving laws, and initiated pilot law enforcement programs in Hartford, Conn., and Syracuse, N.Y., modeled after the Department's successful efforts to increase seatbelt use and curb drunk driving.
In November 2010, the Department of Transportation announced "Faces of Distracted Driving," a video series featuring people from across the country who've been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. To watch videos from the "Faces of Distracted Driving" series, and to learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation's campaign against distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.