AAA has undertaken a national initiative to advocate laws in all 50 states by 2013 that would ban texting while driving.
HB 99 passed without opposition in the Ohio House of Representatives in June, and was introduced in the Ohio Senate shortly after. It now awaits hearings.
State Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson, R-89th, is a co-sponsor of HB 99.
“As the former Scioto County coroner, I know this all too well, and say that this (texting while driving) is simply unacceptable,” Johnson said. “Every life is too precious to put at risk in this way.”
Brian Newbacher, director of public affairs for AAA East Central, said there are 20 communities throughout Ohio now ban texting.
He said that 93 percent of Ohio AAA members support a statewide ban.
According to AAA, a recent survey found 24 percent of motorists of all ages admitted to text messaging while driving. Nearly half of drivers ages 18 to 24 admitted to text messaging while driving.
HB 99 takes effect six months after it is signed into law. Until then, warnings can be issued, where law enforcement will provide information about the new law.
HB 99 caries with it fines of up to $150.
If HB 99 is approved by the Senate it will be sent to Gov. John Kasich for his consideration.
WAYNE ALLEN may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.