Legislature should pass cellphone law

Using a cellphone while driving, except with a hands-free device, already is a crime in Ohio. But drivers can be ticketed for it only if police or deputies spot them doing something else that is illegal.

Since 2013, 305 people have died in Ohio accidents caused by “distracted driving,” often because motorists were paying more attention to their cellphones than to the road. During the same period, more than 47,000 people were injured in such crashes.

Some traffic safety analysts have said that talking on a cellphone, using it to text or to visit online sites while behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving while under the influence of alcohol.

A bill introduced in the Ohio General Assembly this week would make use of a cellphone while driving a primary offense. That means law enforcement personnel could stop and ticket violators solely because they were seen using cellphones.

The law ought to be enacted. Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he would sign it into law.

It is not too much for Buckeye State residents to ask — demand, actually — that motorists put their cellphones down while driving. The streets and highways can be dangerous enough without having to worry about idiots — yes, we said it — with their eyes glued to tiny screens instead of the road ahead.


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