FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Franklin County is near the top of the list for the number of "texting while driving" violations in the state. Now, police are cracking down more than ever.
"I think its pretty much a problem that’s pervasive in all drivers," said David Arnold, Chambersburg Chief of Police.
According to data gathered by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Franklin County has one of the highest numbers of texting and driving violations in Pennsylvania, out of every 100,000 licensed drivers, an average of more than 20 texting while driving citations were handed out in Franklin County last year.
Only ten other counties in the state are ranked higher than Franklin County.
Authorities say the number of citations handed out for texting and driving is also significantly lower than the number of violations that actually occur because it's hard to enforce. In Pennsylvania it's legal to text while the car is standing still, like if you were at a red light. It's also legal to dial a phone number while driving, which makes it hard for police to tell if someone is texting or dialing.
According to Arnold, "It probably needs to be modified at some point but we'll try to enforce what we have right now."
Although police say there are far more offenses than they can keep up with, they're hoping citations will make drivers think twice about texting behind the wheel.The Chief said, "It’s a mistake that could cause you or somebody else their life. You hope that when you do give somebody a citation for this that they don’t reoffend and do it again and that they learn their lesson.
Texting while driving is a primary offense in Pennsylvania, which means a police officer can pull you over for that reason alone. Each violation carries a $50 fine.