House Bill 37 prohibits driver from using handheld cell phones while driving

Last updated: 01-21-2020

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House Bill 37 prohibits driver from using handheld cell phones while driving

The House of Representatives passing Bill 37, which will now appear in front of the Senate. The bill, if passed would prohibit drivers from using handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The controversial bill passing the House of Representatives 120 to 74. With the rapid growth in technology comes a growing concern with texting and growing.

“People are dying. The interstates are flooded with accidents, people are getting seriously hurt and killed as a result of texting and driving.

House Bill 37 states drivers may not use any communication device while driving. If caught under the age of 18, it’s a primary offense. IF you’re over the age of 18, it becomes a secondary offense, meaning you can’t get pulled over for it, but if stopped its a $150 fine.

“I think that is a very good thing,” said Holly Bonavita, a Warren resident. “People should not be on their cell phones while driving. They should be put up.”

“They shouldn’t be on them, it distracts them,” said Maryann Hutchins, a McKean resident. “You have a lot of people that can’t talk and drive, and you have a lot of people that can’t walk and talk.”

Currently, 16 states and the District of Columbia have the ban. Over the border in New York, they hagve already banned the use of handheld cell phones while driving as well as Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

“I think this is going to be a trend nationally,” said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro. “Given that this is a national issue.”

In 2018, there were nearly 5,000 deaths from car accidents where a cell phone was used. According to Holly Bonavita believes that texting and driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

“I think its pretty serious,” Bonavita said. “I don’t think you should be doing it. It’s dangerous.”

Another woman says that if you are going to communicate over a device while driving, you should use a hands-free device like Bluetooth.

“It doesn’t mess with your concentration as much, as if you were to sit there and bend your head down and up.” Hutchins said.

There are a few exceptions to the bill like, using a handheld communication device to talk with law enforcement or emergency services.

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