UPDATE: Ohio Law Enforcement Supports Texting And Driving Ban

By: Brittany Lowe, Erin Pulsanti Email
By: Brittany Lowe, Erin Pulsanti Email

Hands on the wheel and off the phone! Ohio is the 39th state to officially ban texting and driving and Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says he supports the new law.

Governor John Kasich signed the new law Friday that prohibits writing, reading and sending texts from behind the wheel. Texting while driving is a secondary offense for adult drivers and minors are now banned from just using cellphones, ipads or other electronics while driving.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says he's happy to see the new law. He says many people don't know just how dangerous texting and driving can be.

"If you are driving down the road and you're taking a look at your cell phone at 55 MPH - by the time you take your eyes off the road, look down at your message and look back up, the average time is about 5 seconds that's elapsed," Sheriff Mincks says. "And going 55 miles per hour you're going to travel about the length of a football field. So, a lot of bad things can happen."

Sheriff Mincks says once the law goes into effect (in 90 days) his deputies will enforce it. At first, he adds, they'll issue warnings but once drivers are familiar with the law they'll be cited.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio has become the 39th state to prohibit texting while driving.

Gov. John Kasich signed a ban Friday on writing, reading and sending texts from behind the wheel. It goes into effect in 90 days.

The measure includes a stricter crackdown on teen drivers' use of electronic devices. Minors would be banned from using cellphones, iPads or other electronics while driving.

Texting would be a secondary offense for adult drivers. They could be ticketed for typing messages only if they were first pulled over for another offense, such as running a red light.

Teens could more easily be pulled over for violating the texting ban.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the measure would be among the broadest in the country in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Authorities say it's happening more and more, distracted driving and now Ohio is taking a stand against the distractions.
Both the house and senate have passed the bill and now it sits on Governor John Kasich's desk.

"We see it more than we like, that's why it's good to have this law," explains Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper, Dustin Payne.
Distracted is one thing, but no one wants to be responsible for a deadly crash.

"There's a lot of things you miss while you're looking down at your cell phone or your IPad, you miss a lot of things out in front of the car you could have a collision that results in an injury or a death," says the Manger of Pioneer Driving School, Daloris Holiday.

Ohio waits for Governor John Kasich to sign the bill banning hand held electronic devices behind the wheel.
The new law would make that text, email, or search a secondary offense when on the road.
"That means we would have to have a primary violation, such as speed, a defect, a stop sign violation, a moving violation of some sort before we can pull you over, unless you're under 18 then it's a primary violation," says Trooper Payne, meaning if you're a minor in Ohio and authorities see it, you could face a fine or even a suspended license.

It's about showing teens a few seconds distracted equals hundreds of feet.

"Anytime you take your eyes off the road you are creating an unnecessary risk for yourself and other motorist. It slows down your reaction time. When you're driving your one sole responsibility is to keep your eyes on the road so you're safe and everyone else is too," explains Trooper Payne.

Thirty-eight currently have a texting while driving ban.

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  • by Truckin Guy Location: Marietta on Jun 4, 2012 at 07:18 PM
    There is one outstanding difference between a CB and a cellphone.The cb does not take your eyes off the road to operate it.How many states have outlawed talking on a cb while driving?Hmmmm?
  • by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 01:04 PM
    They need to add talking on the phone to the bill.
  • by Dan Location: Athen on Jun 3, 2012 at 06:01 AM
    Its a sad day. More freedoms lost do to the lack of common sense. One day we will have lost all the freedoms our grandparent enjoyed.
    • reply
      by lol on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM in reply to Dan
      our grand parents loved to text and drive too!
  • by firefighter23 Location: marietta on Jun 2, 2012 at 05:07 PM
    I agree totaly with this law change but I hope our local law enforcement remember the hazard that their laptops pose while they operate their vehicles as well. I know they use them while driving as well as operating their cell phones as well. WCSO use cell phones more than radio's these days it seems. Please this law applies to all parties.
    • reply
      by me on Jun 3, 2012 at 08:03 AM in reply to firefighter23
      OK watch a firetruck respond to a call or a volunteer respond to the station and tell me WCSO using cell phone is dangerous!!you guys drive crazy and risk far more lives than you could ever save! It's to old glass house thingy! Stone caster!!!!lol
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:17 AM in reply to firefighter23
      actually it does not apply to any emergancy worker while they are working
  • by Gabby Location: WV on Jun 1, 2012 at 02:54 PM
    I find it sad that there even has to be a law regarding texting. People should have enough common sense to not text and drive. There is no text so important that a life should be endangered to recieve or send it.
  • by Liz Location: Marietta on May 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM
    I'm 20, been driving since the day I turned 16, and I have never sent/read a text or taken a phone call while driving. It isn't hard people, when you're behind the wheel, you've got more important things to pay attention to like other drivers, children crossing, animals, and everything else.
  • by Bill Location: Marietta on May 17, 2012 at 07:30 AM
    Larry-it has been illegal for some time now for commercial truck drivers to use electronic devices while driving. Matt- anyone operating emergency response vehicles will likely be exempt in the bill, although their department policies will likely have restrictions.
  • by Kim Location: Marietta on May 17, 2012 at 07:10 AM
    They can make all the laws they want, but they have to enforce them to make them work, How about enforcing the litter law, I was sitting behind a police car the other day, and the car in front of him dumped their ashtray out the window, the police officer did nothing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM in reply to Kim
      perhaps he had something more important. I mean nothing ever happens in Parkersburg so I'm sure he was just being lazy
  • by judd Location: little hocking on May 17, 2012 at 04:14 AM
    Time to put away your toys boys and girls. You may have to pay attenion to your driving again, like before all of these gadgets were invented. It might even save a life or two.
  • by Larry Location: Belpre on May 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM
    This better be for truck drivers using CB and cell phones!
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