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Government & Politics

Gov. DeWine Establishes Panel to Combat Distracted Driving

photo of Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Gov. Mike DeWine holds up the task force report.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says there were nearly 80,000 distracted driving crashes in the state in the last five years, killing at least 268 people and injuring more than 3,000. Gov. Mike DeWine is fighting back with a panel to make some policy recommendations based on a new report.

The report from a task force formed last year says it believes smart phones are a reason why traffic deaths have increased in four of the past five years, and why 16-20 year olds have the highest number of distracted driving crashes. Philip Renaud with Ohio State University’s Risk Institute says the report has four major recommendations – more time dedicated to distracted driving in the driver’s ed curriculum, increased fines and points for distracted driving, more research and education into it, and…

“Ohio should enact one hands-free law with primary enforcement. Ohio currently has two state laws that are not clearly defined or widely enforced.”

DeWine will name members of the Distracted Driving Council soon.