Proposed legislation would increase driver training and focus on distracted driving
Ohio lawmakers are considering a number of bills aimed at making the state's roads and highways safer for all drivers. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, lawmakers are looking at various proposals that would require increased driver training for new drivers and stiffen penalties for distracted drivers. The measures, which were originally part of a single bill, have since been divided into separate bills, which has caused controversy among some safety advocates. Proponents of the measures say they are integral to reducing car accidents in Ohio.
One of the proposals includes increasing the amount of training required of both trainers and new drivers. Officials say they are concerned that driving instructors currently lack the minimum amount of safety knowledge that should be expected of them. The proposal would increase the amount of training instructors are currently required to take, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The proposal would also require novice drivers to undergo increased training in order to get their licenses. One official noted, for example, that currently novice drivers aren't required to take a highway driving test when applying for a license. Safety officials say they want young drivers to undergo at least one day of driver training before taking their road test. Statistics show that although 16- to 25-year-old drivers only account for 25 percent of all drivers in the state, they are involved in 63 percent of all car accidents.
A separate legislative effort would also toughen Ohio's distracted driving laws. Currently, distracted driving is an add-on penalty in the state, which means that drivers cannot be cited for distracted driving as a stand-alone offense. The latest proposal would make distracted driving a secondary offense, meaning officers could charge drivers with distracted driving (instead of having to 'add it on' to another offense), although they would still need to witness drivers committing another driving offense, such as speeding, in order to pull them over and actually charge them with distracted driving.
Originally the distracted driving and driver training proposals were part of one funding bill, but have since been divided into separate legislative efforts. Safety officials have voiced disappointment about the proposals being considered separately, noting that the issues are interrelated since the fines collected from distracted driving citations are expected to go towards increasing driver training programs.
A car accident is a serious event, especially when it results in injury. Unfortunately, many accidents and injuries are caused by negligent or reckless drivers. For anybody who has been hurt in an accident that may have been the responsibility of a negligent driver, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney. The right attorney can show what options may be available and help accident victims pursue the compensation they may need in order to help them recover from their injuries.