Tougher Texting Trouble in One Community

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- Let's face it: It's hard to keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel if you are looking at your smart phone.

"I always see people texting and not paying attention to the road," Francisco Molina of Lakewood said.

A proposed Lakewood city ordinance would give police more power to crack down on texting drivers by legally identifying them as distracted drivers.

"It's almost like crack. They can't help but reach for the phone," Cindy Carty of Lakewood said.

It is already illegal to text while driving in Ohio, however, under current Ohio law, police cannot pull over adult drivers solely for texting; they have to be committing another offense, such as speeding or reckless driving.

The proposed ordinance in Lakewood would allow officers to pull people over for texting while driving - even if they are driving ok.

Many other northeastern Ohio communities have similar ordinances.

"It's one of those things we all see: folks aren't paying attention," Lakewood City Council Member David Anderson, who crafted the ordinance, said.

Anderson doesn't think it is fair if only minors can be pulled over for texting behind the wheel.

"I don't see why minors should be penalized more than adults for the exact same offense while,” Anderson said.

"I do support it. I think we've gotten where people automatically text no matter what," Carty said

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Lakewood High School in Lecture Hall Two.

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