DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. – State Rep. Rosemary Brown announced Wednesday that her hands-free cellphone legislation passed in the State House.
The prohibitions in this bill state that an adult who is 18 years or older may not use their cell phone while operating a motor vehicle on a highway or traffic way. However, drivers are still able to use their cell phone through Bluetooth or GPS if they are not grasping or supporting the phone with any part of their body.
Drivers are also prohibited to write, send or read any text-based communications, record or broadcast a video/picture, or watch any videos or movies on their cell phone.
Any violations will result in a secondary offense, meaning that the driver or passenger will receive a citation — but only after the driver has been pulled over for a primary offense.
Minors may also not control cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a highway or roadway. The only exception for a minor to use his or her own cell phone is for calling law enforcement or emergency services, using the phone as a GPS while affixed to the vehicle, or when the vehicle is stopped.
Any violations by a minor will result in a primary offense.
The penalty for violating the prohibition states that the individual will also be subject to a fine of 150 dollars and a summary offense.
Brown said in a statement that although she is pleased that the legislation was passed by the House, she is disappointed that the bill was amended to classify adult violations of the potential law as a secondary offense.
Brown said she believes that the secondary offense weakens the bill.
The purpose of House Bill 37 is to make it a priority for drivers to put away their phones and to not risk the lives of their own or others, she said.