Upper Arlington makes distracted driving a primary offense

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The city of Upper Arlington, Ohio is cracking down on distracted driving.  The Upper Arlington City Council recently voted to make texting while driving a primary offense for all ages. 

Ohio law bans texting as a primary offense only for those under the age of 18.  For all other drivers, it is a secondary offense, meaning another offense must be committed before a law enforcement officer can stop the driver.  Upper Arlington’s municipal law concerning distracted driving goes above and beyond the more general Ohio law.

The Upper Arlington ban will take effect in 30 days. The ban is similar to texting bans already in place in other Ohio cities, including Columbus, Dublin, and Bexley. Columbus police reportedly write an average of one ticket per week and Dublin reports less than one ticket a month.  In Columbus, the offense is a minor misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $150. Dublin considers the offense to be a fourth degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $250 fine an 30 day jail sentence.

“Anytime your attention is not straight forward it’s a big issue,” stated Upper Arlington Officer Lee Morrison. “I think it will help the most by making people more aware. We may not be charging people, but it will be in their head a little more.”

For more information, contact the Ohio cell phone accident lawyers at Clark, Perdue & List.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Upper Arlington bans texting while driving,” Dean Narciso, October 9, 2012.