Distracted driving bans moving ahead in Ohio

5:42 PM, Apr 27, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Monday (April 30) Councilman Zachary Reed says he will introduce his proposal to ban handheld cell phones while driving in the City of Cleveland.

"I'm hoping I get 10 (of 19) votes to pass it. The key is to pass it. ... Actions speak louder than words and at the end of the day are we going to continue to talk or get something done?," he asked.

Cleveland's had a law against texting and driving since 2009.

A Channel 3 request to City Hall for enforcement records found there have been 24 citations this year, 43 last year and 41 in 2010.

In Columbus, there could soon be movement on a texting and driving ban.

Republican State Senator Tom Patton of Strongsville says there could even be a push to broaden the law to include all kinds of distracted driving.

He was already proposing to add a measure that would prohibit 16 and 17-year-old drivers from using an electronic device when they drive.

Some senators including Senate President Tom Niehaus have resisted a texting/driving ban as hard to enforce.

"You can't legislate common sense," Niehaus has said.

But newspapers and the American Automobile Association have been pushing for passage of a law.

Thirty-seven states have laws banning texting while driving.

Senator Patton says this could be a critical week to determine what happens in Ohio.

Distracted driving laws will be one topic one this Sunday morning's edition of Between the Lines.

Friday (April 27) a three-car wreck in Concord that sent three people to the hospital with two take by LifeFlight to MetroHealth Medical Center was blamed on a driver fumbling for a ringing cell phone.

A Highway Patrol survey found that almost one fourth of Ohio's distracted driving  accidents happen in Cuyahoga County.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.


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