Ohio Texting Ban, Is it Effective Enough?

With the Ohio texting ban law in place, why is it that 34% of drivers admit to texting while driving, but only 273 citations for using electronic devices while driving have been issued in almost 2 years?

Texting-While-Driving-LawyeIn 2011, the Ohio State Senate passed the ban on electronic devices by teenage drivers while operating a vehicle. The law was enacted in August, 2012 and fully implemented by February of 2013. The law bans the use of all electronic devices while driving for teen drivers, and makes texting while driving a secondary offense for adults. The penalty for adult drivers is a possible fine of up to $150. Teen drivers using electro

The law has been in place for 20 months, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has issued just 273 citations for texting or electronic use violations. As a comparison, the State Highway Patrol reports issuing 367,000 speeding tickets during the same period.

Ohio was the 39th state to ban cell phone use while operating a vehicle. From the start, the law was under fire by critics who stated the law was simply too weak. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was one critic of the law. According to data collected by the NHTSA, distracted driving accounted for 3092 deaths in 2010, and was responsible for a further estimated 416,000 injuries. The NHTSA reports that distracted driving is responsible for 11 percent of fatal crashes for drivers under 20. The NHTSA recommends banning all cell phone use for drivers of any age.

According to an Ohio Health Department youth-risk survey, half of Ohio teen drivers are texting or e-mailing behind the wheel. However, the Ohio State Patrol only issued 43 tickets to drivers under the age of 18 since August of 2012. Critics of the law state that troopers may have difficulty identifying the age of a driver, which makes it difficult to pull over teen offenders. Strengthening the law by making cell phone use a primary offence for all ages would prevent this problem and could improve the safety of all drivers on the road. Critics have also pointed out that the penalty for cell phone use while driving is weak. The law would carry more weight if the drivers from cell phone-related crashes were charged with felony vehicular homicide similar to how drunk drivers are charged. [March 2014, http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/mar/13/ohios-weak-anti-texting-law-proves-the-c/]

Some cities in Ohio have already made cell phone use while driving a primary offence regardless of age. These cities believe banning cell phone use will make the roads safer for all drivers and cut down on distracted driving accidents.

Ohio cities banning cell phone use while driving:

  • Beachwood
  • Marietta
  • Cleveland
  • Brooklyn
  • North Olmsted
  • South Euclid
  • North Royalton
  • Walton Hills
  • Woodmere
  • Shaker Heights
  • Toledo
  • Columbus
  • Parma Heights
  • Delaware
  • Belpre
  • Berea
  • Zanesville

Other cities also have a proposed ban on cell phone while driving. Check your local city regulations before using your phone while driving on any Ohio road to avoid distracted driving and an expensive citation. Currently, there are no state-wide regulations that make distracted driving a primary offence for drivers of all ages.

If you or someone you know is a victim of districted driving in Dayton, Cincinnati or any Ohio city, contact the personal injury attorneys at Wright & Schulte LLC. Our experienced personal will help with all the phone calls and paperwork so you can concentrate on your health and getting your life back to normal. Contact our office at 937-222-7477 or visit yourohiolegalhelp.com to set up your free appointment.

This entry was posted in Wright & Schulte News. Bookmark the permalink.