Don’t Send it Like Beckham – A Lesson on Distracted Driving

Written By Emma Parnham

I’m as much a David Beckham admirer as the next soccer fan, fashionista, or ‘Posh & Becks’ enthusiast, so I was saddened to read that one of soccer’s greatest ambassadors was banned from driving for six months for using his mobile phone while behind the wheel of his car. I say saddened because Beckham has the persona of a role model sportsman, father, and husband, and, quite frankly, should know better. The law in the United Kingdom, which has a zero tolerance policy for using mobile phones while driving (hands-free devices are allowed), is different to Pennsylvania, and the courts demonstrated that no matter one’s celebrity status, breaking the law will not be tolerated.

Pennsylvania’s distracted driving law generally bans all text and electronic messaging while driving. But the state does not have any restrictions on talking on the phone while driving. In South-Central Pennsylvania, York County ranks sixth in the state for drivers being cited for texting while driving or wearing headphones while behind the wheel, according to data released by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts earlier this year. Overall, throughout Pennsylvania, distracted driving citations increased 118% since 2014. The National Safety Council reported that use of a cell phone while driving caused an estimated 1.5 million car crashes in 2017 and 14% of all fatal crashes nationwide involved cell phones.

Atlee Hall continues to raise awareness of the risks of distracted driving and will pursue justice for clients who are the victims of the negligent acts of others, in order to make driving safer for everyone in our community.