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Upcoming Changes To Ohio’s Distracted Driving Laws

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Motor vehicle accidents |

Ohio’s distracted driving law is changing. Recently, Governor DeWine signed a bill to make things a bit stricter regarding using your phone while driving.

Here’s what you need to know about the new law and what is (and isn’t) allowed.

What’s changing?

The new law will prohibit drivers from holding phones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. This means no texting, calling, or any other type of phone use that requires having the device in your hand. However, hands-free devices are still allowed.

Why the change?

Distracted driving has been a growing problem for years, and it’s not just a problem in Ohio. In 2020, over 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers across the United States. Ohio is reducing these numbers by making it illegal to hold a phone or electronic device while driving. By making it a primary offense, police officers will be able to stop drivers for this violation alone rather than having to pull them over for another reason first.

What are the penalties?

If caught using your phone while driving, you could face a fine of up to $150 for a first offense. Additionally, you could face points on your license and a possible license suspension for repeat offenses.

It’s important to note that while hands-free devices are still allowed, you could still face penalties if you are driving unsafely while using one. So, even if you’re using a hands-free device, it’s essential to stay focused on the road and not let yourself get distracted.

What about GPS and music apps?

The law allows drivers to use GPS and music apps on their phones as long as the device is mounted or secured in a way that doesn’t require holding it. This means you can use your phone’s GPS or a music app, but it must be in a hands-free holder.

What should you do?

The most important thing you can do is to stay safe and avoid distractions while driving. Put your phone away, use a hands-free device if you need to, and focus on the road. Pull over to a safe location if you need to make a call or send a text.

Ohio’s new distracted driving law is an important step toward reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. Remember to keep your phone out of your hands while driving and use a hands-free device if necessary.