Distracted driving bill needs passed

We’re all guilty of zooming around in our cars once in a while, but Ohio state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, took that to a new level last week when he attended a Zoom meeting with members of the state Controlling Board while he was driving.

Though Brenner now is open about having attending the meeting while driving, at the time it seems he felt it necessary to change his background to one that resembles a home office, complete with houseplants and artwork. In fact, it’s possible no one would have noticed he was operating a vehicle … except that he wore a seat belt the whole time. There was also the matter of his hands turning in the motion of using a steering wheel and his glancing from side to side as though he was checking for oncoming traffic.

The New York Times had a little fun with the situation, noting “at one point he turned his head to look over both shoulders in what appeared to be an attempt to safely change lanes inside his home office.”

In talking to the Columbus Dispatch, Brenner claimed he “wasn’t distracted,” and that he was “paying attention to the driving and listening …” In fact, he went so far as to say he has been on “numerous calls” some audio, some video, while driving.

Meanwhile, a distracted-driving bill that would make Brenner’s actions a primary offense was being introduced in the state House of Representatives. His actions prove just how necessary such a bill is — and surely his attempt to disguise his car as a home office shows deep down, he knows it.

Brenner made a bad decision and set a poor example. Lawmakers should use the video as inspiration for doing the right things and passing the distracted-driving bill.


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