This is the latest news from Ohio:
June 1, 2012
Contact: Troy Green, 202-366-9550
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today commended Ohio Governor John Kasich for signing a new law that prohibits text messaging while driving.
“I commend Governor Kasich and the Ohio legislature for taking an important stand against the dangers of texting while driving today,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “While this new law will help keep all drivers safe, we are especially encouraged by its focus on young drivers, who are more likely to engage in distracted driving.”
Ohio becomes the 39th state to prohibit texting behind the wheel by all drivers. The law takes effect 90 days after signing and warnings will be issued to offenders for the first six months. After that period, texting will become a secondary offense for adults and a primary offense for those under age 18. Adult violators will face a fine of up to $150. Teens who violate the law will be subjected to a $150 fine and have their license suspended for 60 days. Teens who are repeat offenders will be fined $300 and have their license suspended for a year.
Ohio and 38 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging by all drivers. Ten states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit all hand-held cell phone use while driving.
“We are making a difference in the fight against distracted driving through a combination of good laws, tough and consistent enforcement, and extensive public education,” said David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Ohio is sending a strong message that it wants its young drivers to be distraction free.”
In 2009, Secretary LaHood launched a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. To help further raise awareness, the U.S. DOT also launched Distraction.gov, a dedicated website that provides the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving.
The Department has also hosted two national summits devoted to the issue, crafted sample legislation, which states can use to adopt distracted driving laws, issued several rulemakings banning texting while operating commercial vehicles and limiting the use of handheld cell phones, and initiated pilot law enforcement programs in Hartford, CT, and Syracuse, NY, modeled after the Department’s successful efforts to increase seatbelt use and curb drunk driving. More information on the rules can be found at: http://www.distraction.gov/content/dot-action/regulations.html
In November 2010, the Department of Transportation announced “Faces of Distracted Driving,” a video series featuring people from across the country who have been injured or lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. To watch videos from the “Faces of Distracted Driving” series, and to learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s campaign against distracted driving, visit Distraction.gov.
Ohio, became the 39th State to write and pass legislation to make it illegal to text while driving today with Gov. John Kasich’s signing ceremony. As dangerous as texting and driving may be, what many fail to see, is that many states already have laws on the books to cover these actions. The law is usually called driving while distracted. This law is a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over for only being caught breaking it. It is not secondary, which means the cops would first need to pull you over for something else, ie. speeding, and then slap you with a ticket for driving while distracted.
This is nothing more than political smoke and mirrors. It’s a feel good bill. If driving while distracted already makes it illegal to drive while reading, drive while eating, drive while putting makeup on, drive while arguing with passengers, and etc. etc. Why the sudden need for the bill? Nothing more that PC political correctness run amok and political self-preservation. That is the sad truth of this issue. Politicians take something that the media has blown up into a huge social issue, and then get to work passing laws! You know, to look busy, for the constituents. They stand up on their soap boxes and pound their chest and shout, “it’s a crisis” and “young people are dying!” “We must do something!” “We need to pass a bill banning this action!”. All the while, there already exists a law that cops can already use to perform a traffic stop, driving while distracted. WE ARE BEING SCAMMED by WEASEL POLITICIANS! How much money do you think these states have spent writing, voting on, performing demographics and traffic studies, just to pass REDUNDANT legislation? I would venture to say it’s in the millions of dollars. There really is nothing more deceiving than pretending to stand up for the people and convincing many into believing they are really “working” for you, the constituent. It’s a fantasy, they’ve concocted in their heads. Now they all will run around congratulating each other by patting one another on the backs and bottoms. And they just keep getting away with the deceptions, because no one will call them on the carpet on it! Its high time someone stood up and called Bu** sh**!
The most egregious part of the bill is this, what about the cops? Does this apply to them also? I have personally witnessed patrol officers scrolling on their laptops, typing and reading while driving, actually texting on their phone, can any one say hypocrite?
Lord Help Us. They’re just gonna keep finding social / political reasons to legislate idiocy and we are the guinea pigs!
Robert E. Stage Jr.
P.S. – For those who have lost loved ones, I am sorry for your loss, the law that could have saved your loved one(s) already existed, and no one would enforce it.