The dangers of texting while driving are well-known, and distraction is now one of the leading causes of accidents across the country. As a result, lawmakers have taken action to reduce the chance of drivers holding their phones and taking their eyes off the road while operating a vehicle. One way Ohio is fighting the issue of distracted driving is by making texting a primary traffic violation, which means police can pull them over for only that.
A primary offense
Very soon, texting while driving will become a primary traffic violation. This means that police will not need another reason to stop a driver other than seeing a driver manipulating his or her phone while a vehicle is in operation. Previously, texting was a secondary offense, which means that the driver also needed to be committing another violation, such as speeding, for police to have grounds to make a traffic stop.
Recently passed legislation makes the law stricter to discourage distraction. According to the bill, it is now a primary violation to hold a phone or make any type of electronic communication behind the wheel. For the first six months after the changes take place on April 4, 2023, police will only give out warnings for this offense.
The rights of Ohio drivers
Ohio drivers with traffic violations may believe the best course of action is to simply pay the fines and move forward. Whether it is for texting, speeding or another type of traffic offense, this is not always the case. It may be helpful to speak with an attorney regarding the most beneficial way forward, which may include challenging the violation and seeking to avoid penalties.