"Stop the texts, stop the wrecks" is the newest campaign that is trying to put a dent in texting and driving as crashes from distracted drivers increases. A bill sent to Governor Kasich on Tuesday would ban cell phone use by sixteen and seventeen year old drivers in the state of Ohio. This bill would ban all drivers from texting but young drivers could be pulled over for cell phone use.
State representative matt Huffman said, "we want to be able to look at new drivers and say you are not allowed to be texting or on the cell phone. Now I know a lot of parents say that, but if sixteen and seventeen year old drivers understand they're going to lose their license if they do that it will keep them from doing that."
The bill would make it a secondary offense for adult drivers which means drivers could be ticketed for texting only if they were pulled over for another offense like speeding or running a red light. In the end it's all about public safety. "If someone is texting and looking down then they are not looking where they need to be so this is for both the safety of these drivers and the other drivers on the road.' said Huffman.
Ohio State Patrol officers are some of the first responders that see the accidents from texting behind the wheel and want to see a proactive approach from the parents to help with the issue. Sgt. Bo Schmutz of the Ohio State Patrol said, "to try and put it on the kids to call once that they're at home or their destination instead of you calling them while they're actually driving."
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association the measure would be among the nation's broadest in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions. Governor Kasich is expected to sign the bill into law which will make Ohio the 39th state to have a ban on texting while driving.