House Bill 95, backed by state representatives Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) will be voted on this week in the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee. The bill would make distracted drivers face a stiffer penalty for moving violations by adding $100 extra to the ticket.
Distractions include texting, using a cellphone, eating and drinking, personal grooming or reading while behind the wheel.
Right now, distracted driving is a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement must see a driver commit a separate infraction before they can get ticketed for distracted driving. The Ohio Bicycle Foundation supports the bill but ultimately wants distracted driving to become a primary offense.
According to Lt. Ed Mejia, an Ohio Highway Patrol Staff, there 13,994 drivers crashed as a result of being distracted by something in their cars, and the number has only been increasing in the recent years. Three years ago, Columbus sports TV personality Dom Tiberi lost his daughter in a tragic distracted driving crash. His family is backing the bill and hopes that it will protect other families from experiencing the heartaches of losing someone to a distracted driving crash.