YOUR OPINION: House Bill 398

Daniel Kliethermes, New Bloomfield

Dear Editor,

Gov. Parson signed House Bill 398, but this is a bill that needed to be stronger than it is. This bill is worthless the way it is written and is a slap in the face to people who have lost love ones to people who text while driving.

Why are they waiting until August 2025 to implement this bill? Officers cannot fine them even if they catch them texting. All they can do is give them a warning, and they cannot look at their phone to see if they were on the phone. I wonder how much the Big Tech paid for this bill the way it is written? When this goes into effect, if they are pulled over, they could be fined $100-300, depending on how many times they have been pulled over I guess.

And it would be a felony if they're involved in a fatal crash. What kind of prison time will they receive? It doesn't say. Why don't they make it go into effect this August? Because according to the Capitol, they want to give drivers enough time to adapt to the new bill; they already know this is wrong. This is a joke. How many more people have to get hurt or die before this bill take effect. They knew this but don't care evidently. People are still going to text and drive even after this goes into effect; don't kid yourself.

My suggestion is that if they get pulled over, they should lose their license for three months and be fined $1,000, and if caught again, they lose their license for six months and a $2,000 fine and so on. I mean if you get pulled over for a DWI, the first offense could cost you more than $4,000 and lose your license for up to a year. And if you get caught again, it's even more serious. So what's the difference?

If you're texting, your mind is not on driving. So in other words, you not watching the roadway and driving defensively and not watching other drivers. But the previous bill exempts law enforcement from this bill; I called this a double standard.

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