Texting while driving secondary offense under proposed legislation

State Sen. John N. Wozniak says he'll announce new legislation to make sending text messages while driving a secondary offense.

Wozniak, a Democrat who serves Cambria, Clinton and parts of Centre, Clearfield and Somerset counties, says texting offenses should follow the model of seat belt use to promote safe driving. He says seat belts are worn by the majority of drivers because of education and incentives, not fines and penalties.

According to Wozniak, making texting while driving a primary offense would cause more drivers to send text messages below the dashboard, which he claims could make the problem worse.

Under Wozniak's proposed legislation, officers could cite a driver for texting only if the driver is pulled over for a separate violation. Drivers could receive a fine of $100 for the texting offense. In addition, the bill would instruct the Department of Transportation to report on accidents regarding the use of wireless devices.

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