Oct 4, 2012

Distracted Driving

One of the hottest topics going around is "distracted driving," especially in the state where I am, Ohio. While they took a little longer to pass statewide legislation about it (39th), it has been hotly discussed. Effective September 1, 2012 we have laws on the books about distracted driving. And yes, it applies to everyone on the roads in the state, even if you are from a different one, just visiting or passing through.

The Ohio ban on distracted is best simply explained as:
  • Statewide on text messaging by all drivers (sending or reading).
  • Drivers under the age of 18, use of all portable electronic devices prohibited.
Basically what this translate into, as an adult, if pulled over for another violation, they can add this to the ticket as a fee on top of the original ticket (about $150). Like how the first seat belt act was passed before "Click It or Ticket," they couldn't pull you over for that unless you did something else first (reckless driving, speeding, blowing a stop sign or stop light, etc.). If you are under 18, it means $150 and a 60-day suspension of license. For teens with multiple violations, fines max out at $300 with possible loss of driver’s license for a year.

Now, that sounds simple, but you need to keep a few things in mind. They aren't just talking about distracted driving due to texting. Some municipalities, cities, and counties also specify that the use of a DVD player in the front seat, using a touch-screen GPS, eating, drinking, applying makeup, shaving, brushing your teeth, changing the CD player, iPod or radio, and even a hands-free call as distracted driving.  The local law can override the state law. The state law is the MINIMUM, the local ones are the MAXIMUM.

So, my suggestions? Spend a few minutes online to research what laws apply to where you live, but also where you might travel for vacation or work. And, please, keep your hands on the steering wheel and check your mirrors every 30 seconds. Get a "ride buddy" to do all the work you need done while focusing on the road in front, behind, and beside you. Pull over to take a phone call, answer a text, or check your email.

No comments:

Post a Comment