Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sharon Montgomery's Journal: Ohio Proposed Ban "Driving While Texting," Status of HB 99.

HB 99 hearing

Sharon writes: Monday, February 28, Ohio House Representative Nancy Garland (D, Dist. 20) told me tonight it's looking pretty likely she and Rep. Rex Damschroder (R. Dist. 81) will give sponsor testimony on their texting bill next week. That hearing would be at 4:30 on Wednesday, March 9.

The public will not be allowed to address the committee at this hearing but if we want the chairman to schedule additional hearings so we can speak, we've got to show this is important. That means bodies in the hearing room. Even if you don't plan to testify later, our cause really, really, really needs you in that room for the first hearing.

Even if there are still enough votes in the full House to pass this like last year, it won't get to the full House for a vote without getting through committee and it won't get through committee unless we convince the chair that there is enough demand.

Being there in person is best so the media will see the numbers. Contacting the committee chair before the sponsor hearing date is second best. Doing both would be wonderful. And, don't forget letters to the editor.

Rep. Garland mentioned specifically she'd like to see some of the students who have been working on this issue in one way or another be at the hearings.

If you're ready to take some kind of action, let me know and I'll give you all the information you need (chair's e-mail, hearing room number, parking situation, etc.) as I get more.

I know you already know how much we need this law. As further motivation, let me share some scary info. just out recently.

2011 Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that 85 percent of Americans now own cell phones.

2011 AAA Traffic Safety Foundation Culture Index shows more than two-thirds of drivers admit to using cell phones while driving within the last month.

Ford proudly promotes its new "in-car connectivity."

How far are we going to let this get out of hand before we do something about it??

I firmly believe their are only two reasons there aren't more serious phoning/texting/e-mailing/etc. crashes than there are:

1) Luck--which runs out

2) Enough alert drivers still on the road--a number that dwindles constantly.

Sharon Montgomery

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Design is copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Sharon Montgomery.

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