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What are the laws in Ohio about texting and driving?
In the year 2013, more than 371 crashes involving texting took place in Ohio. 128 people were injured and six died as a result of those crashes.
In March 2013, Ohio became the 39th state in the country to ban text messaging while behind the wheel. In addition, it’s against the law for drivers aged 18 or less (novice drivers), to use cell phones at all, even hands-free devices.
How serious are the consequences?
That depends on your age. For drivers 18 and under, cell phone use while driving is a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over for it. Potential punishment could be a 60-day suspension of your license and a $150 fine. Get caught more than once and you’ll lose your license for a year and face a fine of $300.
If you’re over the age of 18, talking on the phone while driving is permitted, but texting or emailing is against the law. However, texting is considered a secondary offense, meaning you must be pulled over for a separate traffic violation, before the texting while driving offense can be added. If you are given a texting while driving violation, you’ll have to pay a fine of about $150.
Exceptions to the law
In addition to drivers over the age of 18 being allowed to use cell phones with voice-operated or hands-free devices, there are some exceptions to the cellphone-use laws in Ohio. Cellphone use is permitted during emergency situations, by anyone reporting a health or safety emergency.
In some cities, drivers who are parked, standing or stopped and removed from flow of traffic, or stopped because the vehicle is inoperable, are able to use their cellphones. Adult drivers are also allowed to enter phone numbers and use navigation devices while behind the wheel.