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On the same day a distracted driving bill was introduced, state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, participated in a government video meeting while driving.
“I wasn't distracted. I was paying attention to the driving and listening to it (the meeting,)” Brenner said. “I had two meetings that were back to back that were in separate locations. And I've actually been on other calls, numerous calls, while driving. Phone calls for the most part but on video calls, I'm not paying attention to the video. To me, it's like a phone call.”
He added that he was parked during most of the video meeting of the Ohio Controlling Board. “I was wearing a seat belt and paying attention to the road.”
House Bill 283, introduced Monday, calls for a ban on writing, sending or reading texts, viewing videos or taking photos, live streaming and using applications while driving.
It would also make holding or using an electronic device while driving a primary offense, which would permit police to pull the driver over. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense for drivers over 18, which means police must witness another moving violation before pulling the driver over.
The legislation would allow for exceptions for voice-operated or hands-free use and emergency situations.
Previous efforts to make Ohio's distracted driving laws tougher have failed to gain traction in the state legislature.