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Laws Help Curb Texting While Driving

HB 99 in Ohio bans texting while driving.

One issue that constantly comes up at my town hall meetings is the issue of texting while driving. Residents regularly express concern about their safety being jeopardized because another driving is texting behind the wheel. 

Working together in Columbus, we passed HB 99. The texting while driving ban makes Ohio now the 38th state to enact such a ban. A recent study by the AAA Foundation found that 95 percent of drivers consider others texting and driving to be a serious threat. However, 35 percent admitted to having read or sent a text message while driving in the last month. The findings also showed drivers’ concern for their personal safety from texting drivers (95 percent) is higher than safety concerns about drunk drivers (93 percent). 

The new law went into effect Aug. 31. While Ohio now joins 37 others states with such a ban, we are the first state to prohibit drivers under the age of 18 from using any electronic devices while driving. The new law makes texting and driving a secondary offense for adults and a primary offense for teen drivers. The penalty for adult drivers is a minor misdemeanor and a fine of up to $150. For teen drivers, breaking the law could mean up to a $150 fine and a 60 day license suspension. 

Stricter laws in Ohio’s local communities will take priority over state law. A number of Ohio’s cities and villages have already enacted laws to curb the use of cell phones while driving. 

I hope you’ll make plans to join me at our next “Lundy Listens” town hall meeting to be held Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. at the Avon Lake Public Library. You can always reach me with your concerns about state issues at 614-644-5076 or district57@ohr.state.oh.us. I look forward to serving you.  

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