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Thirty-seven other states have banned driving while using handheld devices or are considering doing so, according to Lightbody’s office.
Distracted driving, which includes texting, talking on the phone or other behaviors, was a factor in 13,727 crashes in Ohio in 2018. Fifty-one people died in those accidents and 6,860 people were injured, the patrol statistics show.
Distracted driving crashes in 2018 in local counties totaled: 613 in Montgomery, 423 in Butler, 268 in Warren, 226 in Greene, 168 in Clark, 110 in Miami and 55 in Champaign.
In April, DeWine called on lawmakers to make it a primary offense for adult drivers, saying distracted driving should be as culturally unacceptable as drunken driving.
RELATED: Distracted driving led to nearly 80,000 crashes since 2013
Previous legislative efforts to make texting while driving a primary offense have failed to gain traction in the Ohio General Assembly.