September 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Distracted Driving: A Leading Cause of Serious Car Accidents
Texting while driving has become a serious safety concern, one that legislators and safety agencies are addressing nationwide. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety/Bureau of Motor Vehicles, texting while driving takes your eyes off of the road for approximately five seconds. In this time, you are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident
A recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 35 percent of drivers admit to texting and driving. In 2009, this driving habit claimed the lives of 5,500 people, and 448,000 more were injured in this same year by motorists who were texting behind the wheel.
The phone addiction is a problem for motorists of all ages; however, safety enforcement is primarily concerned with the teen driving population. Fifty percent of teens surveyed in an AT&T poll admit to texting while driving.
Fortunately, Ohio lawmakers have stepped in to address the issue. Ohio recently implemented a new law, which bans texting while driving for all motorists. Additionally, it prohibits teens from using wireless communications devices in any form while operating a vehicle.
Ohio Texting while Driving Law
Under the new law, it is illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to compose, transmit or read a text message while driving in Ohio. If an adult violates this law, he or she could face a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $150.
On the other hand, there are more stringent rules for teen drivers. The new law mandates that teens do not use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio. This law is applicable even when the vehicle is sedentary in traffic or stopped at a light.
In other words, it is illegal for teens to engage in any of the following while driving:
- Talk on a cell phone, Bluetooth, OnStar system or any similar device
- Compose, transmit or read a text message
- Transmit or read e-mail
- Use computerized devices, including tablets
- Use a GPS
However, one may use a GPS if it is hands-free and preprogrammed. A teen may use any of these devices if the vehicle is parked and outside travel areas. There is also an emergency exception: in the event of an emergency, one may make calls to emergency personnel.
If a teen is caught violating this law, he or she may be penalized with a $150 fine and license suspension for 60 days. A subsequent violation may result in a $300 fine and a year-long license suspension.
Some local laws have already been implemented around the state. For example, Cincinnati enacted an anti-texting law that went into effect in October 2010. That local regulation prohibited all drivers from transmitting, reading or writing a text message while driving. Motorists are also prohibited from accessing the Internet while operating a vehicle in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati can continue to enforce those local regulations or cite motorists under the new Ohio law
For the first six months of implementing the statewide law, law enforcement will only issue warnings. However, starting March 1, 2013 penalties will be in full effect.
Distracted driving of any sort is a serious danger. While, lawmakers are working to address this hazard, some drivers nonetheless violate their duty to be attentive to the road and cause an accident. If you have been a victim of a car accident that was caused by distractive driving, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney about your recovery rights.
Article provided by The Law Offices of Arnold S. Levine
Visit us at www.arnoldslevine.com---
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