A Senate committee approved changes to the state’s proposed texting ban Wednesday.
The proposal would make it a secondary offense for anyone over 18 caught texting while driving. Sixteen and 17 year olds would face a primary offense if caught texting behind the wheel, 10TV’s Tanisha Mallett reported.
In addition, 16 and 17 year olds also would be banned from using GPS devices unless they are voice-activated and not from a handheld device like a phone.
Families gathered at a hearing on the law that would ban texting while driving Statehouse on Wednesday morning
Many family members spoke about losing their loved ones at the hands of distracted drivers, Mallett reported.
Denise Muvloski said that her husband was killed two years ago when he was struck by a distracted driver.
“My husband was wearing the fluorescent neon jacket that you will see construction workers wearing on highway roads,” said Denise Muvloski. “But if you’re not looking and you have your head down, you’re not going to see anything and (the driver) obviously did not.”
Some people said that lawmakers have waited long enough to pass a law that would ban texting while driving. Thirty-seven states already have laws in place against texting while driving, Mallett reoprted.
The proposed law would make Ohio the first state to ban drivers aged 16 and 17-years-old from using any electronics while being the wheel. If caught, it would be considered a primary offence with a 60-day license suspension.
Many central Ohio communities including Bexley, Columbus, Canal Winchester, Delaware, Dublin, Hilliard, New Albany, Worthington and Westerville have already banned texting while driving.
The measure now will go to the full Senate for approval as soon as tomorrow, Mallett reported. The proposal would then go back to the House for approval.
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