Since 2012, Pa. Cites 5,000 for Distracted Driving

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State and local police departments cited drivers on Pennsylvania roads 2,121 times in 2014 for distracted driving and more than 5,000 times since laws against driving while wearing headphones and texting took effect in March 2012, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts announced Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the administrative office said the numbers released are citations, not convictions.

In Lawrence, Mercer and Butler counties, police cited drivers 30, 24 and 48 times, respectively, since the laws took effect, the administrative office said.

In Washington County, site of much drilling for oil and natural gas in the Marcellus shale play, drivers were cited 111 times since March 2012.

The two most populous counties, Allegheny (Pittsburgh) and Philadelphia, saw drivers cited 454 and 519 times respectively.

The number of citations increased each year statewide, the administrative office found; 1,752 for driving while using headphones or earphones over the three years – 523 in 2012, 518 in 2013 and 711 in 2014. Arrests for operating a motor vehicle while texting, 3,940, likewise rose: 1,190 in 2012, 1,340 in 2013 and 1,410 in 2014.

In Lawrence County, no one was cited for using headphones while driving in 2012 while two were in 2013 and another two were last year. Eight were cited for texting in 2012, 10 in 2013 and eight in 2014.

In Mercer County, one driver was ticketed for wearing headphones in 2012, none in 2013 but four were last year. Eight were cited for texting in 2012, six in 2013 and five last year.

In Butler County, five were stopped for wearing headphones in 2012, seven in 2013 and two last year. Police cited 11 for texting in 2012, 13 in 2013 and 10 in 2014.

SOURCE: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

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