Earlier this year, Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 288 into law, introducing stricter laws regarding the use of electronic devices while driving. Under the new law, using cell phones or other electronic communication devices while driving will be considered a primary traffic offense for all drivers. This means that law enforcement officers can immediately pull over any driver they witness using a cell phone or electronic device while driving.
Before the introduction of this new law, distracted driving was only a primary offense for juvenile drivers. This made it difficult for law enforcement officers to take action against adult drivers who were distracted while driving, unless the drivers had committed another primary traffic offense like speeding or running a red light. The new law aims to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents and fatalities that have been on the rise in Ohio. In 2022 alone, 34 people lost their lives due to distracted driving crashes, though the actual number is believed to be underreported.
The new law will come into effect in April 2023. During the first six months following its implementation, law enforcement officers will issue warnings to drivers found violating the law. After that period, drivers who violate the law will be issued citations, which carry a fine of up to $150 and two points on their license. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties.
By introducing this new law, Ohio hopes to make its roads safer for everyone. It is crucial for drivers to remember that using electronic devices while driving can have serious consequences and lead to accidents that cause injuries or even fatalities. With the introduction of this new law, Ohio is taking a significant step towards reducing the number of distracted driving accidents on its roads.
Paulozzi LPA always supports safe driving. If you need legal consultation related to a ticket or car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experience automotive lawyers in Cleveland, OH.