Ohio lawmakers seek to toughen texting and driving laws

Tougher texting and driving laws (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Some Ohio lawmakers want to make the current texting and driving law, which is classified a secondary offense, a primary offense.

That means an officer could pull offenders over and give them a ticket just for the offense alone.

Sergeant Mark Nelson is with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He's says being able to enforce a law of texting and driving, if made a primary offense, would drive home the message.

"We want more hands on the wheel and we want more eyes on the road and if we can do that, that's going to make road way safer," said Nelson.

Cheryl Parker, spokesperson for AAA, says the organization was instrumental in the 2012 legislation that made texting and driving illegal.

FOX19 NOW asked Parker about so-called red light texters - those who say they only do it when they're stopped.

"All it takes is a split second for a tragedy to happen. We've done studies that show that even people who use the argument, well I'm texting at a red light, that distraction lingers for several seconds," said Parker.

House bill 88 also takes things a step further. If passed it would prohibit the use of an electronic wireless communications device while driving in a school zone during restricted hours, or in a construction zone during hours of actual work within the zone.

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