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AAA makes an effort to improve driving safety laws
Some of the organization's top priorities have been to reduce teen driver deaths and improve child safety laws

Ozie Ikuenobe

AAA lobbied hard for a ban on texting while driving in Ohio last year, and wants to make it even tougher this year.

Ohio now allows police officers to pull over and charge teens for texting while driving. It also bans texting while driving for adults. But Brian Newbacher, director of public affairs for AAA East Central, explains that for adults, it’s only what’s called a “secondary offense.”

Newbacher on the AAA laws

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“The adult ban is a secondary law, so that means that you can’t be pulled over for that alone. You have to be pulled over for something else. And so we’d like to see that someday improved, whether that can get done this year, I don’t know. But certainly, it’s a goal worth pursuing.”

Newbacher says Ohio missed out on some federal money because its new law did not make texting-while-driving a primary offense.

AAA’s other legislative priorities include tougher seatbelt laws and laws that require ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers.

An average of $500 million a year is provided to states that try to make safety improvements. 

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