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.
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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.