Texting and driving is extremely dangerous behavior. When a motorist texts while they are behind the wheel, they take their eyes off the road in front of them. They also take their focus from their surroundings and their hands off of the wheel. All of these behaviors are extremely dangerous, and can result in an accident that can cause catastrophic injuries. If you have been hurt by someone that was texting and driving, you should speak to an Ohio injury attorney who can explain the law and how it applies to your case.
Talking on a mobile device is banned in over a dozen states, but almost every single state in the country has banned texting and driving. In Ohio, it is illegal for any driver under the age of 18 to use any electronic wireless communications device, which includes texting and driving, as well as talking on the phone.
At the end of 2018, the laws on texting and driving for those over the age of 18 changed. It was at this time that texting while driving became illegal, but it was still only considered a secondary offense. This means that a motorist cannot be pulled over for texting while driving unless they were committing another traffic offense, such as speeding. When a police officer pulls a driver over for a primary offense, they can also charge the driver with texting while driving.
The penalty for the secondary offense of texting while driving is not very steep. Drivers will have to pay a fine of $100, in addition to any other fines they are issued for the primary offense. Motorists can also choose to take a course on distracted driving instead of paying the fine.
In May of 2021, Ohio legislatures started debating a new bill that would crackdown on texting while driving in the state. The law would allow police officers to pull a driver over just for holding a cell phone, even if they were not committing another traffic offense at the time. The new law is a response to the increase of accidents caused by texting and driving. If passed, the law would not only prohibit texting and driving, but also using mobile devices to watch or record videos, place orders, or use any other application that is not considered hands-free.
The penalty for first time offenders under the new law is a fine of $150. Like the old law though, first-time offenders can choose to attend a distracted driving safety course in lieu of paying the fine.
If you or someone you love was hurt by a distracted driver, our car accident lawyers in Ohio at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, can prove your case to help you recover the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review and to learn more about how we can help.
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