The Ohio state senate is currently considering legislation that would prohibit teenagers from using handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel of a moving motor vehicle. Recently, the legislation was amended by the Senate Transportation Committee to ban electronic device usage by teenage drivers but ease the restrictions on text messaging previously included in the legislation’s earlier versions. The amended distracted driving ban passed the committee on a six to three bipartisan vote. Some legislators voiced concerns that the bill would be just the beginning of restrictions placed on driver behavior. 37 states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit drivers from engaging in text based messaging while operating a motor vehicle, and six other states ban novice drivers from using a handheld electronic communication device while behind the wheel. The legislation currently under consideration in Ohio would make exceptions for emergency text messaging, but any other use of handheld communication devices would be considered a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $150. Also under the newly amended legislation, adult drivers sending text messages could be pulled over by law enforcement officials only if the texting driver is violating another traffic law such as changing lanes without signaling.
As a San Francisco car accident lawyer, I have seen the damage that drivers can do when they get distracted from the road ahead of them. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a collision linked to an inattentive driver, please consider contacting a personal injury attorney in San Francisco