The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Feds Crack Down on Dialing and Driving on East Coast

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Watch out for the Department of Transportation! That's the advice Pennsylvania DUI lawyers are giving to PA drivers who want to venture out into Syracuse, N.Y. or Hartford, CT in the coming weeks.

Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, said in a statement that law enforcement would be cracking down on dialing while driving as part of a pilot project in those two east coast cities. The pilot project will cost $600,000 and will be implemented as a preventive measure for dialing while driving.

The campaign mirrors a previous campaign intended to curb drunk driving. It plans to use various media, including TV, radio, and print ads. Law enforcement will subsequently be out on the roads, seeking recalcitrant drivers and issuing citations and tickets for those caught with a cell phone in hand while behind the wheel.

The enforcement and implementation of this campaign began on Saturday and will run through April 16 in Hartford. In Syracuse, it began last Thursday and will run through this week. Subsequent enforcement waves will continue throughout the year.

Although Pennsylvania DUI lawyers are concerned about the ramifications for Pennsylvania drivers that venture out into the Syracuse area or into Hartford, the truth remains that Pennsylvania is a state that currently has no ban on handheld devices at the wheel, nor any ban on texting while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,870 people were killed in 2008 and an estimated 515,000 people were reported injured in distracted driver related incidents nationwide. The Transportation Department stated that results from this pilot program would be used to serve as a model; for nationwide outreach to educate and enforce distracted driving laws.

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