Richard Schulte and Michael Wright, founding partners of Wright & Schulte LLC, a law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of all Ohio personal injury victims and Ohio car / auto accident victims, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and product liability lawsuits, report that the Ohio State Senate bill banning the use of electronic devices by teenage drivers has been approved. Bill 99 was approved by the whole house with a vote of 88-10 on June 28, 2011, was finalized in May of this year, and goes into effect on August 30, 2012. Under this new law, the usage of cellphones, iPods, or any other electronic devices by teenagers while behind the wheel will be illegal, and prohibits adults from texting while driving. For adults, the new law will not allow authorities to stop and ticket them for texting alone, it is a secondary offense with a possible fine of $150. On the other hand, it is a primary offense for teenage drivers, allowing authorities to stop and ticket them under the new law alone. This offense could result in up to a $300 fine with the possible loss of their license for six months. [legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=126_SB_99]
Ohio becomes the 39th state to ban cellphone use while driving. While some feel the new laws hinge on personal freedom, others argue that it isn’t enough. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started the Driver Distraction Program. With the hopes it will widely reduce the loss of life and injuries to other drivers and pedestrians caused by distracted drivers.
The passage and implementation of these new laws will certainly save many lives. NHTSA’s 2010 statistics speak for themselves. In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver and 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
NHTSA’s Driver Distraction Program states a distraction while driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. These distractions endanger drivers, passengers, and bystanders safety. Distractions happen all the time, but ones that can be prevented will make a big difference. We see drivers swerving all the time on roads. The problem is with the use of more and more teenagers acquiring cell phones, there are more inexperienced drivers with preventable distraction.
These distractions can include:
- Reading and sending text messages
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Playing with an IPod or other MP3 device
- Setting a GPS or navigation system
- Talking with passengers
- Drinking and Eating
- Adjusting a radio or CD player
With the passage of Ohio’s law to ban cellphone use by teenage drivers, and other states soon to follow, we at Wright & Schulte LLC hope this will significantly lower the percentage of injuries and deaths due to distracted drivers. Wright & Schulte LLC is a full service law firm and offers free lawsuit evaluations to victims of car / auto accident injuries, personal injuries. If you or someone you love were injured due to the negligence of someone else, either through an auto / car accident or other personal injury, please visit http://www.yourohiolegalhelp.com, or call (937)-222-7477 to learn more about your legal options.
About Wright & Schulte LLC
Wright & Schulte LLC, a personal injury firm, is dedicated to the belief that America’s legal system should work for the people. Every day, the attorneys of Wright & Schulte LLC stand up for the rights of people who have been injured by the negligence or misconduct of others. Whether it is a personal injury due to a highway accident, medical malpractice, product liability, nursing home abuse, a construction accident, wrongful death, or any other lawsuits we are always here to answer any questions and help in any way we can. It costs nothing to talk to us, so schedule a free initial consultation. There is no obligation. You can have the advice of a respected legal professional. Contact our office at http://www.yourohiolegalhelp.com or by phone at (937)-222-7477 to set up your free appointment.