AP NEWS

Bill would make driver cellphone use enough for traffic stop

January 15, 2020 GMT
Jack Marchbanks, right, the Ohio Transportation Department director, reflects on the damage caused by distracted driving in the state, at a news conference promoting safe holiday driving and also attended by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine said he wants distracted driving made a primary offense and promised a legislative proposal soon. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Jack Marchbanks, right, the Ohio Transportation Department director, reflects on the damage caused by distracted driving in the state, at a news conference promoting safe holiday driving and also attended by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine said he wants distracted driving made a primary offense and promised a legislative proposal soon. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Using a cellphone while driving would be reason enough to pull someone over under a bill introduced Tuesday at the Ohio Statehouse.

State Rep. Mary Lightbody, a Democrat from Westerville, introduced the measure.

“The number of drivers I see using their smartphones while driving continues to concern me, especially as they tend to drive erratically,” Lightbody said in a statement. “This legislation will address the significant danger caused by drivers who drive under the influence of their electronic devices.”

Her bill follows a call by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine last month to make distracted driving a primary offense. It is currently considered a secondary offense for drivers over 18, meaning police must have another reason to pull someone over.

DeWine said it’s time people realize that texting, making phone calls or surfing the internet while driving is just as bad as driving drunk.

Since 2013, Ohio has seen more than 91,000 distracted driving crashes, injuring more than 47,000 people and killing 305.