After months of warning drivers, a NEW law to curb distracted driving has been officially passed.
The grace period for Ohio’s distracted driving law has officially expired, meaning drivers now face hefty fines if they’re caught talking on the phone while driving.
On April 4 of this year, the Distracted Driving Law was officially enacted, meaning that using a cell phone while driving is now a major offense in the state.
However, in the last six months, officers were ordered to warn drivers caught using their cell phones because the law was so new, local Fox affiliate WJW-TV reports.
On October 5, the grace period officially expired, meaning drivers could receive distracted driving tickets on their cell phones.
By law, drivers under the age of 18 are no longer allowed to use their phones, even if they are using the hands-free system.
But for those 18 and older, activities such as dialing a phone number, sending text messages, playing games, video calling or recording a video are considered illegal in the state.
It is important to note that there are exceptions to this rule.
Drivers are allowed to hold their phone to their ear as long as they can end, start and end their conversation with a single touch.
Drivers are also allowed to use their phones when they are at traffic lights or parked on the street.
There are several penalties for violating this new law.
First-time offenders will receive two points on their license and a fine of up to $150.
The second offense results in a three-point increase in driver’s license and a possible $250 fine.
After that, each driver will receive an additional four points as well as a $500 fine and a possible 90-day license suspension.
Anyone who achieves 12 or more points within two years is even threatened with a six-month driving license revocation.
To get their license back, the driver must complete a driving course, retake their driving test and provide proof of insurance.
This came on the heels of a grim report that revealed Ohio had experienced more than 66,000 accidents involving distracted drivers since 2018, according to a state dashboard.
For a safe ride, it is recommended that drivers turn on their phone’s speaker while driving or use an earbud while driving.