New laws have gone into effect for the new year in Ohio. Authorities have made it clear that crackdowns will begin with new driving laws. And if an officer sees a violation, they will pull you over. Drivers can also expect to pay hefty fines for violating one new rule.


Ohio's New Driving Law Will Now Be Enforced

Ohio recently made some changes to its distracted driving law that are now in effect. Ohio law enforcement had only been issuing warnings for distracted driving. Tickets with fines up to $500 will be given in the new year for violations of that law.

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What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Ohio?

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, it is illegal to use or hold a cell phone or electronic device in your hand, lap, or other parts of the body while driving on Ohio roads. Under the previous law, distracted driving was a primary offense only for juvenile drivers. The new law prohibits the following and if an officer sees a violation, they can pull you over:

  • Dialing a phone number
  • Sending a text message (voice-to-text is legal via a hands-free method)
  • Updating or browsing social media
  • Video calls or FaceTime
  • Browsing the internet
  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Recording or streaming video

 What are the exceptions to the new law?

This law does not prohibit you from talking on your phone while driving. Drivers over 18 years old can make or receive calls via hands-free devices. Some exceptions to the new include:

  • Reporting an emergency to law enforcement, a hospital, a health care provider, a fire department, or a similar emergency entity.
  • Holding a phone to your ear only during phone conversations, if the call is started or stopped with a single touch or swipe.
  • Holding or using cell phones and other electronic devices while stopped at a traffic light or parked on a road or highway during an emergency or road closure.

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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

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