2013-03-02 / News

Texting ban goes in effect March 1

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s new texting while driving ban fully kicks in Friday, March 1, ending a six month warning period. Those caught texting while driving can be cited.

If you’re under age 18: It is illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio.

This means: No texting, emailing, talking on your cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, On-Star or any similar device, No computers, laptops or tablets, No playing video games, No using your GPS (unless it’s a voice-operated or hands-free device) --- Even when you are sitting at a light or stuck in traffic

It’s a Primary Offense: Law enforcement can stop you for any of the above reasons.

First violation: $150 fine, driver license suspended for 60 days

Second and/or subsequent violations: $300 fine, driver license suspended for one year

Exceptions: Pre-programmed GPS, vehicles in a stationary position and outside a lane of travel, emergency calls to law enforcement, hospital, fire department, etc.

Adult drivers (18 years or older): It is illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text while driving in Ohio.

Minor misdemeanor, could face a fine of up to $150

Texting While Driving: How Dangerous is it?

Among driving distractions, texting is extremely dangerous because it takes your eyes and attention off the road.

Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger (Pew Research Center).

About 50% of teens surveyed admit to texting while driving (AT&T Poll, 2012).

Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field - 100 yards - with your eyes closed (USDOT)

You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving (VTTI)

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