Statewide texting ban introduced in OH - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Statewide texting ban introduced in OH

COLUMBUS, OH (ONN) — When leaving the state of Ohio to the south or west, you better stop texting while driving. That's because Kentucky and Indiana have some form of texting bans.

Now Ohio may be the next state to follow suit, ONN's Stephanie Mennecke reported on Wednesday.

"I was actually hit by a teenager," said Katherine Kaepnner of Columbus. "I am not sure if she was texting, but she was doing something with her phone."

Kaeppner would be in favor of a statewide texting ban, which was introduced Tuesday as House Bill 99.

"It would be a minor misdemeanor, and it would be a fine of $150," said Representative Nancy Garland. "Basically what we want to do is make roads safer for Ohio."

Representative Garland referenced the July 1st crash in Central Ohio that killed a 16-year-old boy.

Investigators now blame texting for the accident and have charged the driver with aggravated vehicular homicide.

"If we make this a crime to text while driving, it will get people's attention," Garland said.

Garland said that this would be a primary offense. That means if a police officer sees you behind the wheel texting that is the only reason they need to pull you over.

Garland said that the bill would give a six month grace period to allow for the transition.

Columbus driver Michael Robinson supports the idea of a statewide texting ban, but said the law needs to be broader than just texting.

"Eventually you will have to stop the phone thing all together," said Robinson. "It's one of those things you don't know if the person is dialing the number or texting."

Many Ohio cities including Cincinnati and Columbus have already passed city bans, but this new law would be statewide.

"You can't do multiple things like that, not when you're driving," Kaeppner said.

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