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Dayton Police: Texting & Driving Law is Flawed, Unenforceable
DAYTON -- Ohio put the brakes on the texting and driving epidemic with a ban on March 1st, 2013 But is that law being enforced? When we tried to find out how many tickets have been given out in Dayton we uncovered a hole in the system. Police say the law is flawed and almost impossible to to enforce.
Traffic specialist and Dayton Police Sergeant Aaron Fraley says there's no record of DPD ever giving out a texting while driving citation.
"The law is well intended but it's too narrow in its scope," Fraley explained. "In conducting your story that's where we found the hole."
Fraley says the police department never gave the citation an identifying code, so if any have been given out they're impossible to track.
Hit the road, look to your left or right.. It seems like the ban is being ignored.
"I do see it a lot. More than I'd like to," Joy Gridley of Charden said.
We went a Marathon in Miamisburg and asked 10 people if they ever texted behind the wheel. All 10 people denied texting and driving, but according to AAA over 40% of drivers are guilty.
So why is the law aimed at saving lives not being obeyed or enforced?
"It's almost without teeth. It exists but there's no bite there's no real consequence. There's no real enforcement to be done," Fraley explained.
The law has ten provisions and there's no mention of social media, shopping or music apps. The law is limited to texting. Adult drivers are still allowed to read, select and enter a name or phone number while driving.
"It makes it hard for us to effectively enforce what I think the legislators had intended," Fraley said. "I think it needs to go a little further and needs to be revised."
To determine if someone was actually texting, an officer would have to look at the person's phone and that would require a search warrant.
When, or maybe we should say if a citation can be given, offenders can face a maximum $150 fine. A fine that Dayton Police could not determine has ever been given out.. Because the law makes it really, really hard to.
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