Distracted Driving Law Gets Teeth: Fines for Texting Begin

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For the past six months, law enforcement officers could issue only warnings to drivers who failed to comply with the statewide ban against texting while driving. The “warning only” grace period ended on March 1, 2013. This is an important step in the fight against distracted driving.

Texting while driving is a secondary offense for Ohio drivers aged 18 and older. So, a police officer must observe and stop an adult driver for a primary offense, such as speeding, before the officer can ticket the driver for texting while driving.

However, for teenaged drivers under the age of 18 , texting while driving and use of cellphones or other hand-held electronic devices is a primary offense.

For a first offense, a fine of $150 is possible. Repeat offenders can face a fine of $300.00.

If a city ordinance on texting or cellphone use is stricter or imposes harsher penalties, the tougher law will prevail.

Emergency situations are exempted from the law.

At Clark, Perdue & List, we believe that tough laws aimed at curbing distracted driving are necessary to make Ohio roads safer for everyone. We have more information about the dangers of distracted driving on our website, and we stand ready to help any Ohio driver who suffers injury because of a distracted driver.

“Drivers Can Now Be Ticketed Under Ohio Texting Ban” NBC News, March 1, 2013