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Ohio House steers bill to reduce distracted driver car wrecks

Advances in technology often lead to improving the lives and safety of people. However, in some instances, the use of technology can lead to dire consequences such as when the use of a phone causes a distracted driver to wreck. Lawmakers in Ohio are taking steps intended to reduce these accidents.

House members recently approved purposed legislation that increases the penalty that a distracted driver faces if he or she is caught using a hand-held phone while behind the wheel. The fine would be assessed at $100 per incident. However, an officer must witness the driver using the phone and and can only make a traffic stop if the driver committed another offense.

The Senate has yet to act on the bill. One house member who voted against it stated that the measure represented an example of laws going beyond an acceptable level. The two representatives who sponsored the bill expressed the hope that the fine would help deter drivers from allowing their phones to become a hazard while driving.

Ohio reported an estimated 14,000 distracted driver wrecks in 2016. While the fines are referred to as an enhanced penalty, drivers will not face any points nor will their driving records be negatively affected. Families who have suffered the physical and emotional pain of these types of crashes have often sustained monetary damages as well. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide information regarding the filing of a civil suit in order to seek compensation to alleviate the financial pressures that occurred as a result of another party's negligence.

Source: wdtn.com, "Ohio lawmakers want to fine distracted drivers $100", Kim Allen, June 21, 2017

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