OH State Senate Working On Texting Ban Wording

By
Alyssa Hansen

Dateline
Updated Tue, Apr 10, 2012 10:37 am

A statewide ban on texting while driving is caught up in senate committee. 

The proposal would ban drivers from texting while behind the wheel anywhere in Ohio. 
 
The bill has already passed the house with rules similar to those many central Ohio cities already have.  
 
The state Senate is still working on the wording. 
 
AAA auto club is urging lawmakers to act now.  
 
"Right now we have a patchwork of texting while driving bans across the state, so it's very confusing to motorists.  Now granted you shouldn't be texting while driving whether or not there's a law, but it is confusing to know whether it's illegal in one place or the other," says Kimberly Schwind, a spokeswoman for AAA Ohio.   
 
Hamilton County Republican State Senator Bill Seitz says that a law like this would be almost unenforceable.
 
He says police aren't able to tell for sure if someone is texting or just talking on the phone.    
 
Instead, he says the current reckless driving law could be tweaked to include a specific texting ban for drivers under 18.   
 
Senator Seitz says it could be passed by Memorial Day. 
 
Alyssa Hansen is a fellow in Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau.
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