April 1, 2016 2:00 PM
Between 2014 and 2015, distracted driving citations in Pennsylvania increased by 43 percent, according to a new report from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
To identify the increase, the AOPC based its data on violations of state laws spelled out in Title 75, sections 1621, 1622, 3316, and 3314. Since 2012 in Pennsylvania, those statutes have barred drivers from using headphones or earbuds while driving, as well as made texting while the vehicle is in motion illegal. Drivers who flout those laws run the risk of a $50 fine, minimum.
Montgomery County was home to the most distracted driving citations in the state, with 298 in 2015 alone (223 in 2014).
Close behind was Allegheny County, with 235 citations in 2015 (176 in 2014), followed by York and Bucks counties, with 223 (130 in 2014) and 183 (117 in 2014) citations, respectively.
Rounding out the top five is Chester County, which clocked 166 distracted driving citations in 2015 (130 in 2014). However, it should be noted that increases in the number of citations in any county could be attributable to increases in enforcement in those counties.
Just two counties in the state — Cameron and Forest — clocked zero total distracted driving citations in 2015. Cameron County also had zero citations in 2014, compared to Forest County’s two that year.
Data for 2015 for Philadelphia County, unfortunately, was not included in the study, with the report noting that that data is maintained by the traffic division of the Philadelphia Municipal Courts. In 2014, Philadelphia County tallied 195 distracted driving citations total, according to a previous AOPC study. In 2013, the number was also 195, compared to 2012’s 276 citations.
Overall, the report found that Pennsylvania’s men have more instances of distracted driving than its women, with 67 percent of recorded citations between 2014 and 2015 going to male drivers.
Of the total number of people cited in Pennsylvania during that time period, folks in their 20s made up about 40 percent. Drivers in their 30s, meanwhile, made up 26 percent, and individuals in their 60s amounted to just 2 percent.
Most citations, the report found, were written between 8 a.m. and noon, with May serving as the most active month of the year.