Ohio bans texting while driving
Ohio is the 39th state to ban texting while driving, under a new law that takes effect Aug. 30, according to The Associated Press (AP). The law includes restrictions on teens that the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) calls among the broadest in the country for teen drivers.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed the law June 1. It bans writing, reading and sending texts from behind the wheel. The measure includes broader restrictions for drivers under age 18, who are banned entirely from using cell phones, iPads or other electronic devices while driving.
Adult drivers can be ticketed for typing emails or instant messages only if they were first pulled over for another offense, such as speeding or not stopping at a stop sign. Because teens can’t make calls or browse the Web while driving, they could more easily be pulled over if they are spotted texting.
Violating drivers can be fined $150. Minors also can have their licenses suspended for 60 days for the first offense. Repeat teen offenders can be fined $300 and have their licenses suspended for a year.
According to GHSA, 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. An additional five states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers.
Thirty-five states make texting a primary offense, meaning drivers can be ticketed for texting without first being stopped for some other offense. In four states, it is a secondary offense, with violators ticketed if they are pulled over for some other offense. Many cities and other local governments also have passed distracted driving laws.