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Montgomery, Chester counties highest in Philly region for texting while driving violations

If you send a message asking, "what r u doing?" and the reply is, "driving," you'd better not respond.
If you send a message asking, "what r u doing?" and the reply is, "driving," you'd better not respond.Read moreLM Otero / AP Photo

Montgomery and Chester county drivers: please put down the phones.

It's for your own good.

Drivers in those two counties collected texting-while-driving violations at the highest rates in the Philadelphia region in 2013, with 22.4 violations for every 100,000 licensed drivers in Chester County and 20.6 violations per 100,000 in Montgomery County, according to figures released by a legislative agency in Harrisburg.

They were among 11 Pennsylvania counties to cross the 20-violation threshold last year, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania found. Their figures were based on data obtained by AAA Mid-Atlantic from the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts; and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The highest rates were found in four rural counties in northcentral Pennsylvania: 69.3 violations per 100,000 drivers in Potter County, 51.6 in Cameron County, 45.7 in Centre County, 32.5 in Snyder County and 22.8 in Lycoming County.

Twenty-nine other counties had rates between 10 and 20, while 22 counties had 10 or less and five counties had no violations.

Delaware County had a rate of 15.6, Bucks County had 14.8 and Philadelphia had 13.9.

AAA reported last month that the city of Philadelphia fell to second in the actual number of texting while driving citations by municipality, with Pittsburgh taking over top spot in 2013. Philly drivers were issued a total of 91 citation in the second year of the law allowing police to cite drivers.

In the first year, 2012, Philadelphia led the state with 202 violations.

"Are Philadelphians putting the phones down more when they drive?  We hope so," said Jenny M. Robinson, AAA Mid-Atlantic manager of public and government affairs, in a March 18 press release. "Drivers are getting the message: It's dangerous to text behind the wheel.  Enforcement is important as well, but the goal is to change behavior and get people to stop driving distracted - not just wait until they do it and then see them get a ticket."