Distracted driving is a danger to the driver and those around them. In Ohio, distracted driving has been a significant issue that has now drawn the attention of the governor. If you have ever been witness to a crash that happened on Interstate 71 or know someone who was hit by a distracted driver, then this may be good news for you.
Governor Mike DeWine announced that the roads in Ohio were at their deadliest since July 2007 this year. In 2020, he reports that 154 people were killed on Ohio’s highways in July alone. Compared to past years, motorcyclist deaths were up 52%, and pedestrian deaths rose by 113%.
The governor is now pushing for the Ohio General Assembly to pass a bill that would increase the penalties drivers would face for texting or using other devices while driving. The bill, Senate Bill 285, would increase text while driving from a minor misdemeanor to an unclassified misdemeanor. It would come with tiered penalties and a $150 fine.
Doing this would allow distracted driving to become a primary offense, instead of a secondary one. That means that officers would be able to stop drivers who were distracted rather than having to wait for them to make another mistake first. SB 285 would specifically make using electronic wireless communication devices when driving into a primary offense in the hopes of reducing the number of people texting and getting distracted on the road.
On top of this, the governor is creating a new Ohio Traffic Safety Council. Their goal will be to monitor traffic safety initiatives, analyze results and trends and advise the governor’s office.
Distracted driving accidents have the potential to alter your entire life. If you have been injured, talk to an attorney about your right to compensation.