Texting ban moving forward in Ohio
Back in March 2011, the Ohio House approved HB 99 which is looking to prohibit texting while driving in an 88-10 vote. More than six months later and after three hours of discussions on the matter, the Ohio Highways and Transportation Committee opted to send the same bill to the Senate for a vote.
The three hour debate exposed the arguments of those in favor as well as those against such a bill. For Senate President Tom Niehaus, a texting ban is unnecessary and pointless as “you cannot legislate common sense”.
Lt. Eric Escola, commander of the New Philadelphia post of the Ohio State Patrol, also raised some questions about the effectiveness of such law.
“I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but it’s going to have its challenges to enforce it,” he said.
Both arguments were quickly dismissed by the CEO of AAA Tuscarawas County, Rick Brinkman.
“All of our research in other states that have texting bans showed significant improvements to public safety,” Brinkman said. “We support a ban on texting and driving, per our members’ wishes. People honestly will not abide by common sense at all times unless laws are on the books. It’s common sense not to speed, but we have laws against speeding. It’s common sense not to run red lights, but we have laws against running red lights.”
If approved, a six months grace period would be allowed before the law became enforced. Getting caught texting while driving could lead to fines up to $150.
Source: Times Reporter, November 19, 2011