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State needs to institute ban on texting and driving now

September 25, 2011
Morning Journal News

Ohio's proposed law prohibiting texting while driving is getting attention again.

House Bill 99, which will prohibit driving a vehicle while writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device and require driver education courses to include instruction in the dangers of texting while driving, cleared the Ohio House June 28, but is still pending in the Senate.

Area resident Tina Yanssen and her family have made promoting the Ohio texting ban their personal mission. Yanssen has testified before the Ohio Legislature and last week she attended a rally in Columbus to promote the ban.

Yanssen's father, David S. Muslovski, of New Middletown, was struck and killed last year by a vehicle driven by a 19-year-old who admitted she was texting while driving.

According to Yanssen, 5,000 people died last year in texting while driving accidents.

Not long after the death of her dad Yanssen's family created the David S. Muslovski Charitable Foundation. Funding has gone toward purchasing texting simulators that have already been used in some Ohio school districts.

Yanssen believes that education, legislation and enforcement are ways to combat the dangerous trend. We agree and hope that the Ohio Senate will take action on this bill soon.

Seventeen states also have restrictions on cell phone usage while driving, although none have a total ban on cell phones. All forms of distracted driving can potentially have fatal consequences. Ohio has lagged behind on this safety issue for far too long, so we hope the Ohio Senate takes action on this bill as soon as possible. Better yet, we'd like to see the legislature consider a total ban on hand-held cell phones while driving. Think of the lives that could save.



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