Legislation recently passed by the Ohio state Senate would prohibit drivers from engaging in text based messaging while operating a motor vehicle. Teens cited for violating the new prohibition, if it is signed into law by the state’s governor, will face stricter penalties than adults. Under the state’s proposed legislation, drivers younger than 18 years of age are prohibited from any form of communication using a handheld device while behind the wheel. The legislation, House Bill 99, was passed by the state’s Senate by a 25-8 vote. It will now go back to the state’s House of Representatives for concurrence. The legislation, if approved and enacted, would prohibit drivers of all ages from sending and reading text based messages while behind the wheel, but does not regulate the use of handheld communication devices for any reason besides text based communication. Voice communication, as well as the use of global positioning navigation systems, would still be allowed under law. For minors violating the law in a non-emergency situation would face a fine of $150 and an automatic license suspension of 60 days for a first offence. Repeat offenders would be fined $300 and given a mandatory one year license suspension.
As a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, I hope these and other auto safety laws achieve their goal of making the roads safer for all motorists. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident linked to distracted driving, please consider contacting a car accident attorney in San Bernardino.