Never answer that phone! Drivers are receiving that message from police officers such as LuAnna Brook.

According to Brook, “the only deaths linked to distracted driving in 2022 were the over 3,300 that were reported to have occurred.” For over two decades, Officer Brook has been a member of the Lower Paxton Township Police Department.

She has personally witnessed how handheld technology has affected drivers’ ability to focus. The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Senate Bill 37 in May 2024 to aid in the fight against distracted driving.

The measure would prohibit using a handheld smartphone or other smart devices with instant messaging functionality while operating a vehicle.

“For one year, we will be writing written warnings for any violations, and then come January of 2026, people will start being cited for these violations,” Brook stated.

Anyone found in violation of the legislation for using a handheld device will receive a $50 fine when the law goes into force in a year. The measure states that within the next months, police should obtain training materials on how to identify drivers who are distracted.

“We’ll be looking for people to actually have phones in their hands doing something and we have a number of ways of doing that. We will more than likely be running details,” Brook stated.

What actions may drivers take to keep from being stopped?

“One suggestion that somebody said to me today that I think is good for people [who] don’t have access to the features in their vehicles – put that phone up in your visor and put it on speaker,” Brook stated.

Additionally, drivers may check whether their phone is connected to the vehicle by Bluetooth or a cable—the majority of modern automobiles are designed to allow for hands-free driving.

To prevent getting pulled over, users might buy things like phone mounts if their car isn’t suitable with a portable device.

It will still be possible for drivers to answer or end calls by pressing a button on their phone.

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