New Act Strengthens Distracted Driving Rules, Requires Collection of Demographic Data at Traffic Stops  

Yesterday, Gov. Josh Shapiro signed Act 18 of 2024 (SB 37) into law. The new act strengthens rules against distracted driving from cellphones by increasing penalties and clarifying that cellphones may not be used for playing games, taking pictures, sharing social media, or recording or broadcasting video while operating a motor vehicle, with limited exceptions.   

The new act requires education on distracted driving for new drivers. These provisions take effect June 5, 2025. Warnings will be issued for the first year and $50 fines will begin in June of 2026. 

In addition, Act 18 requires police officers in local and regional police departments that serve a community of more than 5,000 to collect certain demographic data at each traffic stop, including the reason for the traffic stop, the perceived race and ethnicity of the driver, the gender and age of the driver, and whether a search was initiated, and the results of the search. PSATS opposed these provisions, which take effect December 5, 2025. 

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