Make Texting While Driving A Primary Offense in Ohio
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According to the National Safety Council, 21% of all crashes in America were because of drivers using cell phones. This is one in four, a statistic that is too shocking to be ignored. As times progress, there is no doubt that this number will rise.
Currently, in the state of Ohio, it is a primary offense for those under the age of 18 to text and drive. However, it is a secondary offense for all other drivers. This means that law enforcement cannot pull someone over simply for texting and driving; they must be committing another crime as well, such as speeding.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says that people in their twenties account for 38% of drivers using their phones who were involved in fatal crashes, and this is just in crashes that involved fatalities. As it currently stands, Ohio law does not have any measures in place to truly prevent or reduce this number.
The number of drivers using their cell phones while driving rises every year. At "any given daylight moment across America," over 660,000 people on our roads are distracted by the use of cell phones. These statistics are just going to continue to grow worse. According to State Farm, in 2011, 52% of drivers reported owning a smartphone. In 2014, that number increased to 80%. As this number continues to grow, so will the amount of people who drive distracted, and ultimately the amount of car crashes and deaths.
Ohio needs to catch up with the rest of the country and ban texting while driving for drivers of all ages. Ohio is one of only five states that currently do not have primary enforcement on this issue. Sign this petition to help Ohio move forward and to keep our roads and residents safe!
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