Ohio Senate votes to strengthen distracted driving penalties

Ohio Senate votes to strengthen distracted driving penalties

The Ohio Senate passed legislation Wednesday aimed at decreasing distracted driving.

House Bill 95, sponsored by State Representatives Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), makes distracted driving a secondary offense that can result in a fine of up to $100.

A secondary offense means drivers must be pulled over first for a moving violation in order to be cited for the fine.

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“Our legislative goal is to encourage Ohio drivers to be cautious when driving and to think of their safety before anything else,” Hughes said. “No text message or phone call is worth losing your life or harming someone else.”

Under House Bill 95, distracted driving includes texting, reading, using tablet or smartphone features or applying cosmetics.

In lieu of paying the additional fine, offenders may choose to complete a distracted driving safety course.

House Bill 95, now having passed the House and Senate, heads to Governor John Kasich for his signature.

During the committee process, 10TV's Dom Tiberi testified in support of House Bill 95. Dom lost his daughter Maria in a distracted driving accident.

Dom and his family continue to work to put an end to distracted driving through Maria's Message.

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