Statewide texting ban to take effect March 1Posted: Updated:
On Friday, Ohio becomes the 39th state in the country to ban texting while driving.
Law enforcement believes it will make roadways safer for all motorists.
If an adult gets caught, it's a minor misdemeanor. Fines can reach as high as $150 for the first offense and $300 for the second.
"Basically, it's very similar to our seatbelt law. It's a secondary violation, so we have to have another violation before we can stop or adjust for texting while driving," said Lt. William Bowers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
But it's different for teens. Texting while driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement doesn't need another reason to pull over a young driver.
"I'm pushing the teens or young drivers because in Lucas County, we do have a young-drivers problem and a lot of the problems are a result of distracted driving," explained Bowers.
Bowers believes the new law will result in fewer crashes. Whether it's eating, putting on makeup, changing the channel on the radio, or texting, distracted driving is dangerous.
"Distracted driving is running rampant. We have a busy lifestyle in general and people are constantly doing things in cars they shouldn't be doing," said Lt. Bowers.
One of those things is texting while driving.
Read more on the state's texting ban:
- Simulator illustrates safety of new texting ban to students
- Local leaders of mixed opinion on new texting ban
- Statewide texting ban introduced in OH
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