State Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Portage County) on Wednesday supported legislation that addresses issues surrounding distracted driving, which passed in the Ohio House with bipartisan support. Pavliga is a cosponsor on the bill.
“I understand our communities have suffered from crashes related to texting and driving, and we’re seeking to change that,” Pavliga said. “Statewide we’ve seen increases in distracted driving crashes and related deaths, and it’s my hope that this legislation gets signed into law to further curb those incidents here in Portage County and across Ohio.”
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, from 2013 through 2019, more than 91,000 distracted driving crashes occurred throughout the state of Ohio. This resulted in more than 47,000 injuries and 305 deaths.
The legislation 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.
Currently, 44 states have passed various distracted driving laws. To note, after years of passing and enforcing distracted driving legislation, statistics reflect a consistent reduction in traffic deaths throughout these 44 states.
Pavliga has previously participated in ride- and fly-alongs with the Ohio State Highway Patrol of Portage County to recognize various driving and traffic issues, including distracted driving.
House Bill 283 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.