Local State Rep Supports Law Prohibiting Use of Handheld Devices While Driving
See why state Rep. Joe Markosek is in favor of a ban.
In light of a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association on teenage driver fatalities in the United States increasing for the second year in a row, state Rep. Joseph Markosek (D-25) reaffirmed his support of the passing of H.B. 693 to prohibit drivers from using handheld devices.
Under H.B. 693, all drivers would be prohibited from using handheld devices. Exceptions to the prohibitions would include the use of a GPS system, when the vehicle is stopped due to a traffic obstruction and when initiating a phone call.
Novice drivers would be prohibited from using any device while driving. Additionally, this legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to develop a campaign to educate the public about the danger of distracted driving.
"Too many young people are killed by car accidents each year," Markosek said.
The representative, whose district covers a portion of Plum Borough, also noted that motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teenagers.
"Despite the current law prohibiting texting while driving, six Pennsylvania teen drivers were killed in the first six months of 2012, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association report," he said.
“Our current ban on texting while driving is a step in the right direction, but it is inadequate to protect people from drivers, especially teens, distracted by handheld devices. People of all ages should have their hands on the wheel and be focused on the road when they are driving.”
Markosek was a long-time member of the House Transportation Committee, including serving as chairman, before becoming chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He is a leading advocate of legislation to reduce distracted driving.
A copy of the Governors Highway Safety Association report, Teenage Driver Fatalities by State, 2012 Preliminary Data, is available at www.ghsa.org. Pennsylvania was one of only 17 states where 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths were down in 2012 compared to 2011.