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People who text or fiddle with other hand-held electronic devices while driving anywhere in Ohio will be breaking the law beginning Friday, August 31.

That’s when Ohio’s statewide texting ban for drivers goes into effect, but police and state troopers will issue just warnings — instead of $150 tickets — for the first six months.

Teen drivers must especially take heed: While texting behind the wheel will be a secondary offense for adults — meaning they have to be pulled over for speeding or some other offense before they can get a ticket for texting — it will be a primary offense for those 18 and under, so they can be more easily ticketed.

The law, which was passed by the state legislature this year, restricts juvenile drivers from using cellphones, iPods, laptops or other electronic devices. They can’t make calls or browse the Web while driving.

“We believe the biggest impact will be in the public awareness that this is now against the law,” said Jay McDonald, president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, which supported the measure. “It’s going to be a law that’s going to be hard to enforce, but we’re hoping people will now realize it’s against the law, and the deterrent that comes with that will lead to a decrease in the people who do text and drive.”

Ohio becomes the 39th state in the country to ban texting while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Many Ohio cities already have their own texting-while-driving bans, and the state law won’t trump those ordinances if they are tougher.

Read more at: newsnet5.com

 

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