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Use your phone while driving and an Ohio proposed law could cost you

Published By ABC 6 on May 3, 2021
Cindy Abrams In The News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Driving while using a phone could soon cost you $150 or more in Ohio, thanks to a proposed law that would bring the Buckeye State in line with most other states in the U.S.

Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Rep. Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek) introduced House Bill 283 on Monday, to ban most use of cell phones while driving in the state. HB 283 would implement a "single-swipe rule," meaning drivers could touch their securely mounted cell phone once to pick up a phone call or adjust GPS navigation.

Holding the phone to use it while driving, or viewing streamed video on a device, would be outlawed and trigger traffic violation fines starting at $150 or more.

“The goal of this bill is to make our state a safer place to travel and reduce the amount of deaths and injuries on our roads," Rep. Abrams said in a news release. On Monday, the group Fix Our Roads Ohio joined in the chorus of support.

"Ohio is one of four states without this law. Every other state but for Ohio and three others have taken this step, to save lives — both pedestrian and traffic fatalities," said Dean Fadel, a member of FOR Ohio and the Ohio Insurance Institute.

The bill was introduced Monday and could hit House committees as soon as this week.

Gov. Mike DeWine originally proposed anti-texting while driving legislation in his budget; the House GOP removed it on the promise of sponsoring a separate bill like HB 283. DeWine is expected to sign the measure if it can pass the House and Senate during this general assembly.

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