We are very excited to announce that Governor Tom Wolf will sign Daniel’s Law (HB 853) at the Scott Township Volunteer Fire Department in New Castle tomorrow at 1:30 pm.
Daniel’s Law was created in honor of Daniel Gallatin who was killed when a distracted driver hit him from behind and dragged both Daniel and his motorcycle under her vehicle for quite a distance. The driver of the vehicle that hit Gallatin admitted to texting while driving with not just one person, but two people. The driver only served 60 days in prison and 60 days of incarceration with work release. In addition, she only paid a $50 fine for texting and driving and a $200 fine for reckless driving.
Mary-Lou Gallatin, the widow of Daniel Gallatin, along with her daughter Michelle Gallatin-Baughman has been leading the fight for changes to the distracted driving laws since Daniel’s untimely death in May 2013.
Current Pennsylvania law imposes a $50 fine for texting while driving and does not carry any penalty license points. Daniel’s Law will bring the penalties for texting while driving in line with the penalties for drunk driving such as aggravated assault while under the influence or homicide by vehicle.
Texting while driving makes it 23 times more likely to be involved in an automobile accident. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2015 there were 66 fatalities caused by distracted driving, and more than 300 fatalities in the past five years, including Daniel Gallatin.