Ohio House Votes To Strengthen Distracted Driving Penalties
HB 95 aimed at reducing texting while driving and other distracting behaviors
June 22, 2017
[ Jim Hughes Home | Jim Hughes Press ]

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House passed legislation yesterday aimed at decreasing distracted driving across the state by imposing up to a $100 fine on offenders, in addition to the standard fine established for the moving violation they are cited for.

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. This means that drivers must be pulled over first for a moving violation in order to be cited for the offense.

“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 distractions include, but are not limited to, texting, reading, using tablet or smart phone features, or applying cosmetics.

In lieu of paying the additional fine, offenders may choose to complete a distracted driving safety course established by the Director of Public Safety.

During the House committee process, Dom Tiberi, a popular Columbus broadcaster, testified in support of House Bill 95. Tiberi’s daughter, Maria, lost her life to distracted driving, and Tiberi has worked through a foundation in her name, Maria’s Message, to teach young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

House Bill 95 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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