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Bill that would ban drivers from using handheld devices heads to PA State Senate

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A bill making its way through the State House would ban drivers from using handheld devices in an effort to lower distracted driving rat...

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A bill making its way through the State House would ban drivers from using handheld devices in an effort to lower distracted driving rates. Right now, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes.

In its current form, anyone under 18-years-old would only be allowed to use their GPS by bluetooth or a mounted device. Those over 18-year-olds would not be allowed to hold their phones but would be allowed to make calls by bluetooth or speakerphone.

Lower Paxton Township Police Corporal Zach Fehrenbach tells FOX43, he believes this type of legislation would help lower the rates of distracted driving, something his department sees far too often.

"It's one of the leading causing of crashes we investigate on a daily basis," said Cpl. Fehrenbach.

In 2018, PennDOT statistics show distracted drivers were responsible for more crashes than impaired drivers. Cpl. Fehrenbach says, distracted driving crashes continue to climb, and people of all ages continue to use their phones.

"There's no specific age of factor like that," said Cpl. Fehrenbach. "A lot of people I see constantly down on their phones. It happens all the time."

If this bill passes the General Assembly and is signed by Governor Tom Wolf, it will impact younger drivers more than older drivers. Those under 18 could be pulled over solely for cellphone use, while those over 18 could not.