Texting while driving is a very dangerous behavior and has contributed to many car accidents in Ohio. To address the safety issues caused by texting and driving, Ohio passed a law banning texting while driving. However, at first, law enforcement could only issue warnings to drivers who were caught texting while driving.
The grace period has now ended and officers can issue citations for drivers who text and drive in Ohio. Under Ohio’s law, texting while driving is a secondary offense for drivers 18 and older. This means that police have to stop someone for another offense first, like speeding or running a red light, before they can issue a citation for texting while driving.
Drivers who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from texting, using their cellphone or other devices like a GPS or MP3 player while driving. It is a primary offense for underage drivers caught using these devices while driving and they can be pulled over if an officer sees them violating the law.
Drivers who violate the state’s texting ban can face a $150 fine for their first offense and repeat offenders could face a $300 fine.
Ohio passed the law banning texting while driving to try and combat the dangers of texting on Ohio roads. Officials said that texting is the main cause of death for teenagers involved in fatal car accidents in Ohio and throughout the nation.
Reports show that texting while driving is the number one cause of death for teenage drivers in the country. In 2012, an estimated 43,000 car accidents involved drivers under the age of 20 and 12,000 of those drivers were injured.
Now that Ohio law enforcement can issue traffic citations for texting while driving, safety advocates hope that this will help deter more drivers from using their cellphones while driving because it continues to pose a significant safety threat to Ohio drivers.