Ohio’s new laws banning texting and driving will be in effect starting tomorrow, Friday, August 31st, 2012. The law has been enforced due to the the increase in accidents relating to texting and driving, especially with teenage drivers. Because these accidents are more prevalent with younger drivers, some of these bans are specifically geared toward people within that younger demographic. Please see specific rules, below, provided by The Community Press and Recorder:
If you’re under 18: It’s illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio, even while sitting at a light or stuck in traffic. You may not do any of the following while driving:
- Talk on a cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, OnStar or any similar device
- Write, send or read a text
- Send or read e-mail
- Use computers, laptops or tablets
- Play video games
- Use a GPS (unless it’s a voice-operated or hands-free device)
Using a pre-programmed GPS; using devices while the vehicle is stationary and outside a lane of travel; calls to emergency personnel (police, hospital, fire department, etc.)
If you’re an adult driver: It’s illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text while driving in Ohio.
- If you’re under 18: It’s a primary offense, so police can pull you over just for using wireless devices.
- If you’re an adult driver: It’s a secondary offense, meaning an officer would have to stop you for another reason first.
For the first six months law enforcement will give warnings only. After that: If you’re under 18: First offense: $150 fine; license suspended for 60 days Second/subsequent offenses: $300 fine; license suspended for one year If you’re an adult driver: It’s a minor misdemeanor; you could get a fine of up to $150. With these new rules, Ohio hopes to crack down on texting and driving in order to provide safer roads for all people – texting or not. Please familiarize yourself with these new rules and talk to your friends and family before hitting the road. If you or someone you know has been hurt by someone texting and driving, contact us.