COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and leaders from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO), a division of The Ohio Department of Public Safety, have announced new data that shows the state’s strengthened distracted driving law is making a positive impact on Ohio’s roadways.
“Ohio’s new law went into effect a little over a month ago, and it’s already making a difference,” DeWine said. “I’m glad to see that Ohio drivers are making safety a priority and putting their phones down while they drive.”
The report from Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) shows Ohio drivers are now spending less time handling their phones while driving since the law went into effect on April 4, according to a news release. The law makes it illegal, in most cases, for drivers to use or hold a cell phone or electronic device. The violation is now considered a primary offense, meaning any officer can pull over a driver immediately if they witness a violation.
CMT’s data analysis shows a 9.1% reduction in distracted driving in Ohio since April 4 has helped prevent 540 crashes, one fatality and $13 million in economic damages.
“States that pass hands-free laws typically see a decrease in hand-held phone use and crashes. This data shows we’re on the right track to making our streets and highways safer in Ohio,” said Michelle May, manager of ODOT’s Highway Safety Program. “I believe more Ohioans will choose to put their phones downs as they learn about the new law and the dangers of interacting with their screens while driving.”
In March, Ohio drivers spent an average of 1 minute and 39 seconds interacting with their phones for every hour of driving. From April 4 through May 3, Ohio drivers used their phones while driving 1 minute and 30 seconds, a 9-second drop.
“We are pleased that Ohio drivers are taking this new law seriously and beginning to change their behavior, but there is still more work to do,” said Emily Davidson, executive director of the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. “There is no acceptable level of distracted driving. This behavior is dangerous and puts everyone on the road at risk. The goal is for all drivers to put their phones down for the entire time they are behind the wheel.”
A public awareness campaign is underway now to teach drivers about the new law. The “Phones Down. It’s The Law.” campaign includes television and radio ads, billboards, social media and a new website at phonesdown.ohio.gov. The campaign will be active during the law’s six-month grace period where The Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will be issuing warnings as part of the effort to educate drivers.
As of May 10, more than 2,100 campaign materials have been distributed to traffic safety partners across Ohio, the news release noted.
“We applaud The State of Ohio for their proactive approach to fight distracted driving and save lives on our roads,” said Ryan McMahon, senior vice president of Strategy for Cambridge Mobile Telematics. “We’ve seen again and again how hands-free legislation raises awareness around the dangers of distraction and helps reduce drivers’ phone use. We’re encouraged by the 9.1% reduction in distraction we’ve seen after one month of the law being implemented in Ohio and are proud to supply road safety planners with the resources and insights needed to evaluate its impact.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
yES YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK BUT KEEP IN MIND YOU ARE STILL MAKING 4 WHEELERS GO THROUGH A WALL OF 18 WHEELERS TO GET ON AND OFF OF THE INTERSTATE BECAUSE YOU KEEP 18 WHEELERS OUT OF THE LEFT LANE. WHEN IS FMCSA AND THE OTHER BIG SHOTS WHO ARE IN CHARGE OF THE HIGHWAY SYSTEM GOING TO REALIZE THAT THIS IS WHAT IS KILLING PEOPLE. THE OUT OF DATE SIGNS AND RULES FOR TRUCKS IS REALLY ABSURD. THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE WOULD YA. COME TAKE A RIDE WITH ME ONE DAY ANYBODY ON THE BOARD OF RULEMAKERS AND I PROMISE YOU THAT I WILL MAKE YOU SHIT YOUR PANTS BECAUSE OF THE RULES YOU MAKE FOR THE HIGHWAYS. I BET YOU WILL GO BACK TO YOUR SEAT AND BEG EVERYONE ON WHATEVER BOARD YOU ARE ON TO CHANGE SOME OF THE RULES YOU MAKE….
Now you need to do the same thing with other vehicles, it seems you are scared of them always the hand that does everything for you nothing for the receiver’s including the people that helps make up these laws
Now you need to do the same thing with other vehicles, it seems you are scared of them always the hand that does everything for you nothing for the receiver’s including the people that helps make up these laws this is not a duplicate
Now you need to do the same thing with other vehicles, it seems you are scared of them always the hand that does everything for you nothing for the receiver’s including the people that helps make up these laws this is not a duplicate you just don’t want to publish it as you know it’s true