Antiquated Phrasing Leaves Major Gaps
Texting and driving is an increasing problem on the nation's roads. States like Ohio have tremendous traffic as one of the major crossroads of the country. With millions of motorists from in and out of the state traveling along these major arteries, the need for cell phone use regulations that meet modern needs is second to none.
In 2012, Governor Kasich hailed a major overhaul of the state's texting and driving law. House Law 99 created new provisions that made it illegal for anyone to utilize "an electronic wireless communications device" while driving, even when stopped at a light or stop sign. There are obvious deficiencies to the current law, including the age based provisions. Drivers under 18 faced stepped punishments, starting with a $150 fine. Drivers over 18 would be punished with a minor misdemeanor, and a fine up to $150. The provisions for adult drivers are not as wide, only banning the use of electronic devices for sending text messages.
The gaps in the 2012 law have become so apparent, that recently there's been talk of amending the state's texting while driving law. As reported in the Toledo Blade, the provision's wording has allowed adults to continue to put other drivers and pedestrians at danger. By making the use of cell phones while driving a secondary offense, drivers will not simply be pulled over unless they are performing another worse driving infraction.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, that 10% of all fatal accidents involved distracted driving, and caused 3,328 deaths. Furthermore, 18% of all injury crashes involved such distraction, leading to 421,000 injuries. The highest proportion of drivers affected by such habits were those between 15 and 19 years of age. Distracted driving accidents that involved cell pone use has been increasing year over year. From 2010-2012, the number of such accidents increased, from 47,000 in 2010 to 50,000 in 2011 to 60,000 in 2012. The proportion of these accidents in the overall total has increased each year as well.
With the probability that such distracted driving accidents further increasing each year, more action is needed in state government. Governor Kasich and the state legislature need to take further action to prevent such crashes. First would be to make cell phone use among adults a primary offense. Second would be to increase penalties for such use and increase high-profile enforcement. Further education through school programs and public commercial will further push down the rate of such future accidents.
In my years of experience helpng victims of car accidents, I've had to see the precipitous rise of such accidents and not nearly being done to prevent them. Every year, thousands of preventable accidents happen due to loopholes and non-enforcement in regulation.The Law Office of Anthony D Castelli has followed every step of the changes on the road and the frequent inability of state law to keep up. Our skilled attorneys have been able to use precedent and experience to help hundreds of Ohio accident victims in seeking justice. Being injured by a driver that was texting and driving is no different. Contact us today for more information or to set up a free consultation. Cal 513-621-2345 in Cincinnati.