Talking on Your Cell Phone or Texting While Driving in Ohio
Talking on the phone or texting while driving is common, but a growing number of states are beginning to crack down on the practice in order to prevent accidents and improve road safety. Driver inattention causes around 25% of car accidents.
Texting is an extremely dangerous distraction because it takes your eyes off the road and puts other people in danger. You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving. Ohio was the 39th state to pass a texting ban in May 2012.
Anti-Cell Phone Use Laws for Novice Drivers in Ohio
If you’re under the age of 18 in Ohio, it’s illegal to use any electronic wireless communications devices while driving. This means you cannot do any of the following:
- Talking on the phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, or similar devices
- Using laptops, tablets, or computers
- Playing video games
- Using a GPS unless it is voice-operated or hands-free
If you are a novice driver, law enforcement officers can pull you over if they see you doing any of the above. The penalties for a first offense are a fine of $150 and a license suspension of 60 days. For a second or subsequent violation, there could be a fine of up to $300 and a license suspension of one year.
Anti-Texting Laws for Adult Drivers
For adult drivers (over the age of 18) in Ohio, it is illegal to use handheld wireless electronic communications devices to write, send, or read text messages while driving. If you’re caught doing this, you could face a fine of up to $150. Adult drivers in Ohio are allowed to use cell phones for emergency communications and voice-operated or hands-free devices.
Ohio’s anti-texting law for adults is considered a secondary law. This means that a law enforcement officer must have another reason to pull a driver over other than the texting. Ohio’s cell phone and texting ban for novice drivers is a primary law, meaning that an officer can pull a novice driver over for cell phone use or texting without having to witness any other violation, such as weaving or speeding.
Municipalities in Ohio have the ability to pass and enforce their own laws regarding the use of wireless devices while driving with stricter penalties. To stay safe while driving and to avoid trouble, your best bet would be to avoid using wireless devices while driving altogether.
If you’re charged with talking on your cell phone or texting while driving in Ohio, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney in Columbus, Ohio to represent you. Texting while driving is a serious offense that could result in criminal misdemeanor charges. It is especially important to consult an attorney if you caused an accident that resulted in the injury or death of another person. It’s also advisable to seek the advice of an attorney if it’s a second or repeat offense, since the consequences are more severe. Contact The Maher Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our Columbus, Ohio traffic violations lawyers.