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Officer Immunity In Texting While Driving Law
GREENE COUNTY -- The state trooper who slammed into the back of a motorcycle is not only allowed back on the road, he can also resume patroling. Wednesday, a judge granted Trooper Jacob Daymon driving privileges for work only.
Daymon was going 81 in a 65 mile an hour zone and using his car computer console when he struck Amy and Corey Waldman.
Daymon was found guilty of a misdemeanor for "failing to maintain assured clear distance." A grand jury refused to indict on a felony. We looked into why and learned officers are to an extent somewhat "immune" from distracted driving laws.
We did some digging into the specifics of the texting while driving ban and found out that officers don't have to follow the law as long as they're doing police work.
Luckily the Waldman's are expected to be OK, but their attorney says they still haven't been able to work following the August crash. They've filed a civil suit against the state, but the Waldman's are hoping to get a broader messager out there: no one, even law enforcement, should be immune from the statewide texting while driving ban.
"There are a number of studies that paying attention to a electronic devices is basically worse than drunk driving. So Ohio is legally allowing troopers to drunk drive," said the Waldman's attorney, Jim Thorson.
We took a closer look at the law and discovered, any text-based, mobile electronic device, including the computer console the trooper was using, are all included in the ban for average drivers. However, the law also says officers are allowed to type or text on any of those devices as long as it's in the line of duty.
"I don't think they should if we can't do it," said Ruby Mason of Moraine.
"I guess if it's police work, but it still doesn't sound right to me," added Sue Trent of Miamisburg.
Your state lawmakers approved the texting while driving ban including immunity for law enforcement as long as they're doing their job. Thursday, we're going to call the State Representatives who sponsored the bill and ask them why they decided to include officer immunity.
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