Drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an automobile collision if they are texting while driving. In 2002, almost 12,000 teen drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age were injured due to distracted driving. In order to lessen the impact, Ohio has taken steps to curb distracted driving.
Ohio Revised Code § 4511 now makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use any electronic wireless communication device while driving in Ohio. This means no texting, e-mailing, talking on a cell phone, bluetooth, bluetooth speakers, Onstar or any similar device, computers, laptops, tablets, playing video games, or using your GPS, unless it is voice operated and hands-free. Drivers are permitted to use a pre-programmed GPS or place emergency calls to law enforcement, hospital, or the fire department. If drivers are caught violating the law, they can face a fine of $150 and a drivers’ license suspension for 60 days. If a second offence occurs, drivers can face a $300 fine and have their license suspended for up to a year.
For adult drivers, it is now illegal to use a hand-held electronic wireless communication device to write, send, or read a text while driving in Ohio. Violators of the law could face a fine of up to $150 and may be charged with a misdemeanor.
This is an important step in keeping Ohio’s roads safe and Beckman Weil Shepardson applauds the Ohio legislature for making safety a priority.