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Distracted driving is deadly

If you have ever glanced down at your phone or fast food bag and been jolted back to looking at the road by the sound of rumble strips under your tires, you know just how quickly a tiny distraction can become dangerous in a vehicle.

Gov. Mike DeWine is right, then, to once again be calling to make it a primary offense to handle an electronic device while driving in Ohio. He proposes allowing law enforcement officers to pull over drivers they see participating in activities such as writing, sending or looking at texts, watching or recording photos or videos, livestreaming while handling an electronic device and some others.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while texting is six times more dangerous than drunk driving. But most of us don’t treat it with the same disgust we have for driving under the influence.

And traffic deaths on Ohio roads have increased in six of the last seven years, according to the State Highway Patrol.

“Distracted driving is a choice that must be as culturally unacceptable as drunk driving is today, and strengthening our current laws will lead to more responsible driving,” DeWine said.

He is right. Lawmakers should take his proposal seriously and do what they can to deter deadly distractions while driving.

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