We discussed some of the concerns we had with Ohio’s texting ban last month, and Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law on June 1, 2012. While the new ban takes effect in 90 days, or August 30, state troopers and officers cannot issue tickets or citations for the first six months, instead giving warnings and providing information about the ban.
As we previously mentioned, the major concern about the new statewide law is that while the ban makes using an electronic device a primary offense for all drivers under the age of 18, it will be a secondary offense for adults. That means that a trooper or officer will need some other reason to initiate a traffic stop for adults.
However, here in Cincinnati, adults should not think that they are off the hook. In fact, under the “No Texting While Driving” ban that went into effect in October 2010 (discussed in the video above), any driver can be pulled over simply for looking down at a cell phone. While the new ban for Ohio seems tough on teenage drivers, the Cincinnati law is much stiffer for adults and will thus override the state ban.
Distracted driving remains a completely preventable cause of far too many traffic accidents across the country, and it is certainly encouraging that Ohio lawmakers have at least made some effort to implement a law that would punish drivers for putting other motorists at risk. We believe that Cincinnati’s texting ban gives city authorities more power to enforce this type of law than the recently passed state bill, but hopefully Ohio lawmakers eventually make distracted driving a primary offense for all drivers of all ages in all cities throughout the state. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation to see how our Cincinnati injury attorneys may be able to help.