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Ohio lawmaker wants to ban drivers from using cellphones

In 2017, 58 people were killed and more than 7,000 were injured in nearly 14,000 distracted driving wrecks in the state, according to the Ohio Distracted Driving Task Force.
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(Getty Images)

COLUMBUS — An Ohio lawmaker wants legislation to ban drivers from using handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel.

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

In 2017, 58 people were killed and more than 7,000 were injured in nearly 14,000 distracted driving wrecks in the state, according to the Ohio Distracted Driving Task Force. However, some state officials believe the number of crashes caused by distracted driving is higher because it can only be proved if an officer witnesses the crash or if a driver admits to the act.

Sharon Montgomery, a resident of Gahanna who was in a wreck caused by a distracted driver, urged Lightbody to introduce the legislation. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Montgomery's husband died in 2000 after an accident in which the other driver was using a cellphone while driving.

The state House has not yet assigned the bill to a committee.

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