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Ohio Bans Texting and Driving


"If you're safe about it, like you stop at a stop light or a stop sign and send a text or reply to a text that's okay," says Anthony Miracle, a first-year student at Washington State Community College. "But while you're driving seems like, you know, a really bad idea, really unsafe. You can't watch the road and look at your phone at the same time."

Put that cellphone away, the state of Ohio won't give you a slap on the wrist anymore if they see you texting and driving.

On March 1, 2013, the statewide ban went into full effect. For adults, it's a secondary offense. That means it's only a violation if you were already pulled over for another offense, such as speeding or running a red light.

Adults can use a hands-free device or put your cell on speaker. If you're under 18, it's another story.

"They couldn't do it already, but now it's going to be a citable offense," says Sgt. Scott Smeeks of the Washington County Sheriff's Office. "They'll lose their license for up to 90 days, plus it's a $150 fine; that's for the first offense. Multiple offenses could be up to a $300 fine and one-year license suspension."

Ashley Herlan, a returning WSCC student thinks it's a good idea for people to know that texting and driving is a serious problem.

"To give tickets as a consequence for it can really raise awareness," Herlan says.

It's about distracted driving and being the safest you can be on the road.

"(Younger drivers) can't use a wireless device in any manner," Smeeks says. "The normal reaction time is about 1.5 seconds, from when you see it to when you can react. You only have 1.5 seconds."

The scenario is not a good one.

Smeeks says if you're going 60 miles an hour and there's a car directly in front of you, it takes longer than 1.5 seconds to look down and look at a text, even if you're just reading the message.

"They (younger drivers) can't even read 'em, they can't send 'em and they can't write 'em, while they're driving," he says.


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