Ohio’s texting and driving ban sees mixed results

It has been a year since Ohio’s ban on texting and driving went into effect, and it appears the results the last 12 months have not been all that impressive.

Since March of last year, 60 people have been cited by the Ohio State Highway Patrol across northeast Ohio for texting while driving. Locally, police admit the rules are not that easy to enforce.

“What people have to understand is that for the majority of the population out there, it is a secondary offense, which means that we have to have another offense with which to stop them, and then we can move forward,” Boardman Police Capt. Don Lamping said.

While local police see this law as a way to educate people about the hazards of distracted driving, advocates of the regulations don’t think police are doing nearly enough.

Tina Yanssens’ father was killed several years ago when he was struck while he was walking along a road by a girl who was texting at the time.

“You don’t let someone go and say ‘next time don’t do it,’” Yanssens said. “How many times have you seen them let a drunk driver ever go and say ‘don’t do it again’? You don’t. You issue the ticket because it’s the consequences that are going to change someone’s behavior.”

She said she thinks the new regulations are a good first step, but she would like to see tougher penalties for those who violate the laws as well as having those laws strengthened themselves.

To view statistics on the number of statewide texting-and-driving violations since the law was passed, click here. Page one features the number of violations for drivers 18 and over; page two shows those for drivers under 18.

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