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Distracted Driving Legislation Clears Ohio Legislature, Heads to Governor

December 15, 2022
Brian E. Lampton News

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COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate last night passed legislation, sponsored by State Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and State Rep. Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek), which expands current language regarding texting and driving.

Abrams and Lampton first introduced these provisions in House Bill 283. Yesterday, that legislation was amended into Senate Bill 288, which covers a variety of criminal justice reform topics. 

“This is a massive victory for the state of Ohio,” Abrams said. “Today we made history in the Ohio legislature by passing effective legislation that is going to save lives. I want to thank our colleagues in both chambers for moving this legislation and prioritizing safety.”

The bill makes texting and driving a primary offense, implements a “single swipe” policy, and prohibits individuals from holding and looking at an electronic wireless communications device, with certain exceptions.

From 2013 through 2019, more than 91,000 distracted driving crashes occurred throughout the state of Ohio, according to the State Highway Patrol. This resulted in more than 47,000 injuries and 305 deaths. 

44 states have already passed various distracted driving laws. The bill sponsors noted that within two years of passing and enforcing distracted driving legislation, statistics reflect a consistent reduction in traffic deaths throughout these 44 states.

“The Ohio General Assembly took a giant leap in protecting people on the roads today,” Lampton said. “This bill will help change the culture of recklessness that surrounds distracted driving and it will save lives.” 

House Bill 288 now heads to the Governor to be signed.