Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is proposing legislation that would make texting while driving a primary offense, meaning police could stop drivers for the offense. The bill would also increase the penalties for using a cell phone while driving.
According to the updated Ohio distracted driving law:
No person shall drive a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.
Is texting and driving a primary offense in Ohio?
The legislation specifically makes the following a primary offense while driving: texting or reading texts, watching or recording videos, taking photos or looking at photos, live streaming, entering information into a GPS navigation program, dialing phone numbers or holding a phone while on a call.
All of those activities are currently secondary offenses in Ohio. Police cannot stop drivers for committing those offenses unless they also commit a primary offense, like running a red light. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said traffic fatalities have increased in five of the past six years. Current data says 2019 was the second-deadliest year of the decade, with more than 1,100 people dying on Ohio roadways.
Distracted Driving Statistics in Ohio
You don’t have to follow the local news every night to know that distracted driving is a problem, but here are a few statistics that might help you understand just how serious it is in Ohio:
In 2018, distracted driving caused 13,867 crashes in Ohio. These accidents resulted in 508 serious injuries and 52 fatalities. Distracted driving accidents increased more than 15% from 2013 to 2018.
What are the penalties of the hands-free Ohio bill?
The penalty is a fine of up to $150. The Hands-Free Ohio bill will increase fines for drivers who habitually use devices while driving. In cases where a driver using a device causes serious injury or death, the penalties will mirror those of drunk driving.
So What Can You Do?
Quite simply, use OnMyWay — even passengers benefit from not texting and driving. The Ohio driving laws fines are definitely not worth it, let alone the more serious consequences to the real people you could affect.
Who wouldn’t want to make an impact in their community?
Let’s prevent further infractions of the Ohio distracted driving law with rewards.
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