State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today issued a statement after House Republicans introduced an amended version of House Bill 74, the state’s two-year transportation budget, that strips Hands-Free Ohio safe driving provisions from the bill. Hands-Free Ohio would increase safety on Ohio roadways by limiting distracted driving.
“Though I am disappointed House Republicans removed safe driving provisions from the transportation budget, I remain committed to seeing this commonsense proposal become law—either through the budget process or though the stand-alone legislation I introduced to address this very issue.
“The fact is that distracted driving is always unacceptable in Ohio. We have bipartisan support for this measure, both in the legislature and in the governor’s office. I am also working with my colleagues in the Black caucus to ensure this legislation takes into account issues of bias and targeting, a real concern for Black and Brown Ohioans, and something many have shared throughout this process. Ultimately this legislation is about saving lives, so it’s important that we get this right and onto the governor’s desk as soon as possible to ensure the safety and security of all those who utilize our roadways. Everyone deserves to leave their homes with the full expectation of returning safely.”
Rep. Lightbody has been a leader on curbing distracted driving during her time in office, introducing House Bill (HB) 468 during the 133rd General Assembly. The legislation has been re-introduced as House Bill 111 during the 134th General Assembly and awaits a first hearing in the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee.