New Ban on Texting to Effect Ohio Come September

Cars are meant to convey people from point A to point B. It’s that simple, but there are various hazards that drivers can encounter along the way. Sometimes these hazards come in the form of other drivers that are distracted behind the wheel.

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed key legislation in June banning the use of cell phones while driving. Cell phone use while behind the wheel reduces a driver’s attentiveness to the road. Therefore, this is an all-encompassing ban for younger drivers, and a texting ban for adults.

The only exceptions to the rule are if drivers use their phone to make a call to emergency services like the police, or the fire department. The other exception is if the phone is being used as a GPS device, and already has a pre-programmed route entered.

You can get the full documentation on this law, here.

Getting Pulled Over

This law takes effect as soon as August 30th; however, there will be a 6 month grace period to allow the law to settle in. During this time, police officers can pull over drivers, but only issue warnings for breaking this particular law.

This legislation will be harsher on younger inexperienced drivers, which should help new drivers not pick up the bad habits the state is trying to root out.

According to Wfmj, for adults 18 and older, texting will be classified as a secondary offense.  What this means is that officers of the law can’t pull drivers over solely based on this offense.  They will need to have been speeding, running a stop sign, or something else in order to be pulled over. Only then can officers then cite drivers for texting while driving.

However, for younger drivers, the law is much more astringent and the penalties more severe. Wfmj states that texting will constitute a primary offense for those under the age of 18. It is an all-encompassing ban including texting, talking on your cell phone, or any other conceivable use of the mobile device.

Younger drivers can be fined up to $150.00 for the first offense, and up to $300.00 for secondary offenses. With secondary offenses, under-18 drivers will also get slapped with a 1-year license suspension.

Attorney Scott Cochran explains why the law is more severe, “Because the distraction of the younger driver is more significant and it’s more dangerous to us on the roadways, they’ve decided to give an enhanced penalty to them to really try to catch their attention, and dissuade them from doing something like this.”

Be sure to visit our website for up to date information on key and up to date Ohio auto insurance legislation.

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