Distracted driving law in Ohio goes into effect this week

ll(WSAZ/Marlee Pinchok)
Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 10:22 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) -Changes to Ohio State law are cracking down on distracted driving goes into effect on Monday.

In January, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 288 into law, which strengthens laws in Ohio related to the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.

The bill designates the use of cell phones and other electronic communications devices while driving as a primary traffic offense for all drivers and allows law enforcement to immediately pull over a distracted driver upon witnessing a violation. Under the previous law, distracted driving was a primary offense only for juvenile drivers, preventing officers from stopping adult distracted drivers unless those drivers also committed a separate primary traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light.

Law enforcement will issue warnings to drivers found violating the law for the first six months following the effective date. After this six-month grace period, law enforcement will have the authority to issue citations. Penalties include a fine of up to $150 for a driver’s first offense and two points on their license unless a distracted driving safety course is completed. Increased penalties can occur if the driver is a repeat offender.