The state senator who represents Adams County in Harrisburg announced Tuesday that he supports legislation that would ban motorists from texting while driving.
Senator Richard Alloway also said that he isn’t sold on a plan that would privatize the state’s liquor industry.
“I support no texting for anyone – across the board – while driving, and I also support everyone using a hands-free device,” Senator Alloway said during an interview with host Fred Snyder on Fox Sports 1320.
“We have to get it done. It’s become an important issue to a lot of people and we have to act as a legislature,” Senator Alloway told Snyder, citing motorist safety.
Still, the third-year lawmaker warned that the legislation isn’t moving quickly in the Pa. House or Senate, as there are holdups with provisions, such as limiting the amount of teens who would be permitted to ride in a car.
Alloway noted that there are also disagreements over whether cell phone usage should be banned completely, or permitting adults to utilize hands-free devices.
A lot of states have laws regulating cellular phone usage while driving. In fact, it is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving in Maryland – but once motorists cross the Mason Dixon Line, it is legal.
At least two texting-while-driving bills have been introduced in Pennsylvania this year, and text messaging is banned for all drivers in 34 states and Washington, D.C., according to published reports.
But not in Pennsylvania.
“The problem has been getting a deal that we can get enough votes for, because everyone has different ideas,” Senator Alloway told Snyder.
Alloway recalled his high school baseball days, when teammates would carpool to practice. Under a version of the proposed law, three teenagers wouldn’t be allowed in the same vehicle.
“We just have to find common ground,” Alloway said regarding the proposed law.
Alloway also clarified his stance Tuesday morning on plans to privatize the state’s liquor industry. He said he is carefully studying the proposal, because he doesn’t want alcohol to “get in the hold of kids or people who shouldn’t be drinking.”
“It’s important to me that it’s handled properly and that it’s controlled,” Senator Alloway said regarding Pennsylvania liquor stores. Under a bill proposed in the Pennsylvania house, the wholesale and retail operations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) would be privatized, potentially making liquor and alcohol available in convenience stores. According to published reports, the legislation would end the LCB’s annual payment of profits to the state’s treasury, and terminate more than 3,000 jobs.
“I’m against opening the system up, completely,” said Senator Alloway. “I understand the argument that the state shouldn’t be in the liquor business, (but) I just don’t feel that it’s good public policy to have Jack Daniels and Jim Beam on the wall of every mini-mart. I just don’t think it’s right, and it sends the wrong message to youth. I like the fact that we can control how and when it is dispensed”
The Pennsylvania House intends to consider the bill this fall. State Rep. Dan Moul, who represents Gettysburg in the Pennsylvania House, said previously that he supports the legislation.
In Pennsylvania, beer is sold at distributors, but only cases are available. Otherwise, six-packs are sold at bars, speciality stores and some restaurants. The state has a monopoly on the sale of wines and spirits.