Distracted driving killed over 3,100 people in 2020 alone, and the problem doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. That’s why Ohio lawmakers have proposed House Bill 283, which prohibits driving while using an “electronic communications device.”
While Ohio has already banned texting while driving, law enforcement can’t pull someone over simply on suspicion they’ve been texting. If someone is pulled over for a traffic violation, however, law enforcement can issue an additional texting and driving citation.
House Bill 283 takes this a step further. This bill would make it illegal for people to hold a phone or other communications device with any part of their bodies while driving. That is, they can’t hold the phone in their hand, between their ear and shoulder or with any other body part. It also makes texting and driving a primary offense—law enforcement would be able to pull over drivers for texting and driving, or otherwise illegally using electronics.
However, there are exceptions for hands-free calls and texts, as long as they can be initiated with a single touch or swipe. There is also an exception for emergency calls and responders.
What qualifies as distracted driving?
While House Bill 283 primarily deals with texting, calling and driving at the same time, distracted driving can take a number of forms. Whether a distraction takes your hands off the wheel, or your eyes and attention off the road, it is equally dangerous.
When you use electronics, you’re engaging in all three types of distraction—and it only takes a second for a crash to occur. However, fiddling with the radio, turning around to get your kids to stop fighting or eating fast food while driving can have similar effects.
As a driver, it’s incumbent upon you to pay attention to the road, no matter what. If House Bill 283 passes, law enforcement will have the discretion to pull over drivers using electronic devices. That should cut down on the number of distracted drivers on Ohio’s road, but it won’t solve the problem entirely.
If you suspect distracted driving played a part in your car accident, the Law Offices of Tim Misny can fight to get the compensation you deserve. We have a number of tools at our disposal to prove the other driver was negligent. Call us today for a consultation: we’ll review your claim and explain your legal options.
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When a negligent, distracted driver causes a collision, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away. We’ll work to recover the damages you deserve.