COLUMBUS, Ohio — An exclusive News 5 investigation moved another step closer Thursday to changing state law regulating unsecured loads on Ohio highways.
House Bill 27 would increase fines to $500 and boost criminal penalties to include a $2,500 fine and up to 60 days in jail if property or physical injury is caused.
State Representative Tom Patton sponsored the legislation following News 5's investigation that revealed almost 7,000 crashes caused by everything from mattresses to refrigerators falling off trucks that failed to secure their loads. Those crashes killed at least six and injured more than 700 in the last five years—including a crash that left me unable to walk for months.
At today's hearing, lawmakers heard from Andrew Young with the Law Firm for Truck Safety who strongly urged passage of the legislation.
"House Bill 27 would educate Ohioans on the importance of securing loads and will be a deterrent to those who fail to secure their cargo. It will allow law enforcement to fine offenders who will think twice about hauling a poorly secured load again the future. House Bill 27 will make our roadways safer. House Bill 27 will save lives," said Young.
Thursday marked the 3rd hearing for the proposed law before the House Committee on Criminal Justice that must first approve the measure that has, so far, no opposition.
It must still be approved by full House and Senate before being sent to the governor to be signed into law.