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Ohio just made it easier to get written up for distracted driving

We’ve posted many articles in the past on the dangers associated with different distracted driving behaviors. However, up until recently, Ohio’s law only permitted police to write up a driver for distracted driving if the officer could prove that the driver’s distraction was the result of texting, calling or similar activities. The passing of House Bill 95 on October 29 changed all that.

The new Ohio law more broadly defines distracted driving. In addition to driving while using a handheld electronic communication device, distracted driving also encompasses driving while engaging in any “activity that is not necessary for the vehicle’s operation and that impairs, or reasonably would be expected to impair, the driver’s ability to drive safely.”

The law states that in addition to penalties for another traffic violation, a distracted driver can also face further penalties for their distraction. For example, if a driver fails to stop at a red light while eating a sandwich, they will be fined for the original infraction of running a red light. In addition, they can be charged an extra $100 for distracted driving—or else be required to attend a distracted driving course offered by the state.

In 2017, distracted drivers caused 21,000 crashes in Ohio alone. The new law was passed to help curb this alarming trend.

Even if you don’t drive while distracted, other distracted drivers on the road can pose a real safety risk to you and everyone else. It’s important to always stay alert and drive defensively anytime you’re on the road.

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