Distracted Driving Laws

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Distracted Driving Laws

Calling while driving in Ohio…better hang up or get pulled over! Ohio is cracking down on distracted driving.

Earlier this year, a new bill introduced by State Rep. Mary Lightbody would make cell phone use in a car a primary offense, meaning a police officer could pull someone over for that reason alone.

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that the bill would allow law enforcement officers in Ohio to stop motorists and issue them tickets solely for using cellphones or other electronic devices while driving.

The bill would make the use of electronic devices while driving a primary offense. It is now a secondary offense, meaning that an officer can issue a citation only in connection with another traffic offense.

State Rep. Lightbody said in a statement that giving officers extra enforcement ability would make roads safer. She states

“The number of drivers I see using their smartphones while driving continues to concern me, especially as they tend to drive erratically,” she said. “This legislation will address the significant danger caused by drivers who drive under the influence of their electronic devices.”

Ohio experienced 58 deaths, 493 serious injuries and over 7,000 injuries in nearly 14,000 distracted-driving accidents in 2017.

The toll might be underreported because driving while using electronics is difficult to prove unless the officer sees it or the driver admits it, according to the State Rep.

Gov. Mike DeWine has spoken in favor of introducing more stringent legislation against distracted driving in Ohio. In the state of Ohio, it carries a $100 fine. DeWine stated: “We need a culture change around distracted driving. It must be as culturally unacceptable as drunk driving.” The governor said toughened enforcement will save lives.

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