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Texting-while-driving law hasn't had desired impact on accidents Byline: Brian C. Rittmeyer
March 13--Police cited about 1,300 motorists statewide for sending or reading text messages on cell phones while driving in the first year of a state law banning the practice, a trade group said Monday. But there is no evidence that the law, which took effect on March 8, 2012, is curbing distracted-driving deaths. The trade group AAA said 57 people died in crashes linked to distracted driving last year, down slightly from 59 in 2011. "I feel the new law is deterring people from texting while they're behind the wheel, but many people are still doing it," state police Trooper Brandi Lauria-Cox said. Police issued 1,302 citations for texting-while-driving, according to information AAA gathered from the state's Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. A state police spokesman in Harrisburg said troopers wrote 303 of the citations, slightly less than a quarter of the total. The most citations -- 545 -- were issued in the Philadelphia metro area consisting of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The seven-county Pittsburgh metro area was a distant second with 196 citations. The area includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Locally, citations ranged from 110 in Allegheny County -- third highest among counties -- to just six in Armstrong County. Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold said his department issued one of the six in Armstrong. He called the law difficult...
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