If law makers are trying to make state roads and highways safer, maybe they should have checked with the city officials in Philadelphia first. State leaders have enacted a law that will begin on March 8 that prohibits drivers from texting while driving. The law is something that undoubtedly will help drivers pay more attention to the road than their phone. But, didn’t they know that Philadelphia already had a ban in place that prevented drivers from using their phones at all?
So, starting March 8, Philadelphia drivers will once again be able to use their phones for dialing, GPS, music, etc. For the first time in two years, drivers can hold and manipulate the device any way they wish, just not for texting, since the state law will trump and effectively wipe out any cities local ordinance, reports iRadio Philly.
Critics of the state law, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, have pointed out that it will be almost impossible to enforce, questioning how officers will be able to tell if someone is texting illegally, or just queuing up their playlist.
Philadelphia leaders are pissed saying their ban was clear as day.
“The Philly ban was very clear if you are holding your cell phone in your hand, no matter what you are doing with it, that was a violation of the law. It was simple and easy to enforce,” said Councilman Bill Green, who wrote the Philly bill.
The ban caught almost 30,000 drivers violating the cell phone ordinance. And studies show that fewer drivers are actually using their phones while driving — down to 1 in 10 from 1 in 7 before the city wide ban.
Now, city officials worry that all the work they’ve put into making the streets safer will all be for naught and that drivers will start to revert to old habits and begin to drive city streets using devices again while behind the wheel once the state law takes effect.