“As the former Scioto County coroner, I know this all too well, and say that this (texting while driving) is simply unacceptable,” State Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson said in a released statement. “Every life is too precious to put at risk in this way.”
AAA has undertaken a national initiative to advocate laws in all 50 states by 2013 that would ban texting while driving.
“Texting while driving is the most dangerous of all distractions behind the wheel. It is very encouraging that the Ohio House recognizes the danger,” Brian Newbacher of AAA said about the passage of HB 99.
According to AAA, a recent survey found that 24 percent of motorists of all ages admitted to text messaging while driving. Nearly half of drivers ages 18 to 24 admitted to text messaging while driving.
According to AAA, 93 percent of its Ohio members support a statewide ban on texting while driving.
AAA says 33 states and the District of Columbia have laws that address text messaging by drivers.
HB 99 takes effect six months after it is signed into law. Until then, warnings can be issued, where law enforcement will provide information about the new law.
HB 99 caries with it fines of up to $150.
The legislation passed by a vote of 98-0 and will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. If HB 99 is approved by the Senate it will be sent to Gov. John Kasich for his consideration.
Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati have already enacted legislation that bans texting while driving.
WAYNE ALLEN may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.