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Police Chief Talks About New Texting Ban

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) -- Starting Thursday, you will no longer be able to text while driving in Pennsylvania.

Ahead of the ban going into effect, KDKA AM's Larry Richert and John Shumway talked to Carnegie Police Chief Jeff Harbin about what you can get pulled over for, what the fines are and what he thinks of the new law.

Chief Harbin started by breaking down what drivers can no longer do while in the car.

"[At] 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning, it's going to be illegal for any person to use an interactive, wireless communication device," Chief Harbin said. "The acronym you're going to be hearing a lot is IWCD, and that's to send, receive or read any text-based communication while the car is in motion.

"It's a primary offense if a police officer has probable cause to believe that a driver is doing that," he added.

Not only does it include texting, but "instant messaging, email and other written communication composed or received on an IWCD" as well.

"But what it doesn't not prohibit, much to my dismay, is talking on a cell phone," said Chief Harbin. "So, you can still talk on your cell phone, but you cannot do the texting aspect of it."

Click the link below to listen to the full interview:


While Chief Harbin says the new ban a start, he believes it could be difficult to enforce.

"I wish it would have been a total ban because I think distraction is distraction no matter what," he said. "I understand that they wanted to get something on the books, but I just believe it's going to be very challenging for police to enforce, and not only enforce, but once it gets before a magistrate, how magistrates are going to rule on this."

Pa. Passes Texting While Driving Ban (11/1/11)

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