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Phone use while driving: Potentially serious traffic violation

Distracted driving is a serious safety concern on Ohio roads, and the governor hopes to do something to reduce this type of dangerous behavior. Governor DeWine has proposed making certain types of phone use while behind the wheel a more serious traffic violation. He hopes that by implementing stricter fines for this, it will discourage drivers from engaging in negligent and risky behaviors.

What counts as distracted driving?

Right now, Ohio law prohibits texting and driving by individuals who are 18 years of age or younger. Police can pull over younger drivers seen texting, and adults can face fines for this violation if another traffic violation is committed first. If the proposed changes pass, Ohio drivers would be banned from doing the following:

  • Watching videos or recording videos
  • Writing, reading or sending text messages
  • Live streaming while driving
  • Using certain apps
  • Looking at photos or taking photos
  • Dialing phone numbers or holding a phone to make a call
  • Entering a location into a GPS

Penalties would not begin right away if passed. After a six-month period of giving warnings, Ohio police would then begin issuing fines for violations. A first offense would be $150 fine, second offense $250 and $500 for third and subsequent violations. Three or more violations could also result in license suspension.

Protecting one’s interests

It’s in the interests of an Ohio driver to fight back against penalties from a traffic violation. This effort may also keep points off a person’s record. If texting and driving becomes a more serious traffic offense, more Ohio drivers may have to fight to protect their rights and privileges.

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