CLEVELAND — A proposed state law would significantly boost fines, penalties for drivers convicted of unsecured load violations on Ohio roadways.
State Representative Tom Patton introduced House Bill 510 in response to what he called "an alarming" number of crashes" causing injury and deaths uncovered in an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation.
"This is something we need to bring to public awareness to," said Patton.
Currently, Ohio ranks among the most lax in the nation when it comes to penalties and fines--minor misdemeanors--that are capped at $150 dollars and no jail, with no provision if someone is injured.
Our investigation obtained Ohio Highway Patrol Crash data for years 2015 through 2019 and found 2,791 unsecured load violations contributing to 6,794 crashes.
The data reveals at least six fatalities and 715 injuries over the same period.
If passed, the new legislation would boost fines to $500 for an unsecured load violation and $2,500 and a third degree misdemeanor if someone is injured.
"So if the public is aware of that," said Patton. "They'll strap that load down."