Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cellphones, Texting & Driving....

If you're driving on the streets of Ohio, you'd best put away your cell phones, iPads and other electronic devices while you're doing it in the next couple of days --- especially if you're a teenager -- with the passage and expected signing of House Bill 99 , which now makes texting or reading a text while driving a minor misdemeanor carrying a fine of not more than $150 ... juveniles under 18 driving on temporary instruction permits or probationary driver's licenses are "subject to a fine of $150 and a 60-day license suspension on a first offense, and $300 fine and one-year license suspension for subsequent offenses."

A article this morning reported that "as of Tuesday, 15 people had been charged with driving while texting in the City of Cincinnati, which has had a texting ban since October 2010 outlawing sending, reading or writing a text message or accessing the Internet while driving. A violation of that ordinance is a minor misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine up to $150… Columbus also has a texting ban and 100 people were ticketed in the past two years, and, since Jan. 1 when their law went into effect, Kentucky law enforcement has handed out 144 citations, nine in Northern Kentucky. Violations of KRS 189.292 or KRS 189.294 are fines of twenty-five dollars ($25) for the first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense."

A second article, expanding on above, notes that "research from Ohio State University has shown cellphone use by pedestrians has led to more than 1,000 emergency-room visits nationwide in 2008, and a growing number of communities around the country are trying to get that message across to stave off pedestrian accidents that can happen when people walking become too engrossed with their phones."

Liberty Mutual Insurance's "Responsibility Project," some three years ago foresaw this scenario in an article entitled, "Should Walking While Texting Be Illegal?" That article was followed up last summer.

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