According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year and nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
The Ohio Capital Journal reports in an effort to combat the issue in the state of Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine is promoting his vision of a “Hands-Free Ohio”.
Currently, texting-and-driving is a secondary offense, meaning that you could not be pulled over for doing it. You would have to do something else, like speeding or not wear a seatbelt to be cited for this. This initiative that DeWine is supporting, would make the offense a primary one as well outlaw the use of wireless devices while driving altogether.
“Although Ohio’s current laws are well-intended, they simply haven’t gone far enough to change the culture around using technology behind the wheel,” DeWine stated in a news release announcing the Hands-Free Ohio proposal. “By strengthening Ohio’s laws, we believe we can change behaviors, prevent crashes, and save lives.”
DeWine’s proposal would also make any activity using your phone illegal unless it is hands-free. One UF student does not agree with this part of the proposal.
“It’s [the proposal] a good and a bad thing. It makes the laws stricter but if we’re going somewhere and I need to change the route, I have my phone on my lap and I just glance at it to make sure I know where I need to turn,” said UF student, Jasper Hankins. “I think it’s smart but completely prohibiting use is wrong.”
Another student believes that, ideally, if all people would obey this law it would help lower the risk of accidents.
“If this were followed, I believe there would be more attentive drivers and fewer accidents. People can’t totally operate their vehicles as well as their phones at the same time. Their attention is either on the screen or the road,“ said UF freshmen, Martha Foltz. “I personally feel safer when I’m a passenger of a driver that never touches or looks at their phone. I believe it will benefit drivers and reduce accidents if followed.”
Even with this proposed law, both Foltz and Hankins are apprehensive and doubt that people would obey it.
“The likelihood of idiotic drivers following it is probably still slim,” said Foltz.
“People will still do it [text and drive] regardless of any law, but at least they may think twice about it before they actually send the text,” said Hankins.