Texting ban began Thursday

Talking on a handheld cell phone while driving is legal again in Philadelphia.

Police began enforcing Pennsylvania’s texting ban on Thursday which prohibits motorists from reading, typing or sending messages behind the wheel.

The ban is a primary offense, meaning officers can pull someone over just for violating the law. It supersedes the Philadelphia ordinance that went into effect in December 2010 outlawing the use of handheld cell phones by drivers.

While the new legislation is supposed to make the roads safer by cracking down on one of the biggest distractions for motorists, many say it will be hard to enforce because drivers are still allowed to dial and make calls, making it hard for officers to tell if someone is actually texting.

“The law was created by cell phone lobbyists to allow people to be on their phones to allow them to make money on the streets and highways of Philadelphia,” City Councilman Bill Green said during Thursday’s Council session. “There’s blood on their hands.”

Some motorists are glad for the more relaxed law.

“I absolutely like that. I think [talking on the phone while driving] is the lesser of two evils,” said Gladwyne resident Alex Certo-Ware, who works in Philadelphia.

Linda Gonya, who works in Philadelphia but lives in South Jersey, said she expects to see an increase in the number of people talking on their phone.

“I don’t do either, ever,” Gonya said of talking or texting behind the wheel. “I think they’re worse off now because the officers they’re not going to be able to do much about it. … You’re going to see more people on the phone, which means more accidents.”

Lots of tickets by city cops since 2010

Philadelphia’s ordinance also applied to cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders. Between December 2010 and March 5, 2012, a total of 31,587 citations had been handed out in the city, police said.
Under the state law, drivers face a $50 fine for each violation.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.