“Distracted driving is a danger to everyone using the road,” said Ohio Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Fambro, who said informing families of the death of a loved one is the most difficult job he has faced in his 29-year career.
In 2018, 52 people died and 508 were seriously injured as a result of a distracted driving crashes. There were 13,867 total distracted driving crashes in 2018, up more than 15 percent from 11,979 in 2013 that caused 45 deaths and 499 serious injuries in 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Nearly four in 10 drivers admit to looking at their phones even occasionally, according to a AAA survey.
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Ohio leaders have been trying to reverse the trend for years. In October, lawmakers extended the definition of distracted to include any activity that is not necessary for the vehicle’s operation and that impairs the driver’s ability to drive safely. Eating, handing things, children in the back seat, changing the radio station or using a cell phone could all result in a ticket.
The citation comes with a $100 fine, which some motorists can avoid by taking a distracted driving class instead.
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