Unlike many other states, Ohio's distracted driving laws are behind the curve. Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers, with a maximum fine of $150.
There is no universal cellphone ban for Ohio drivers, however. That means that most drivers are allowed to make and receive phone calls while driving (with the exception of drivers under the age of 18).
Ohio police agree with stricter distracted driving enforcement
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) conducted a survey of 1,635 law enforcement personnel as part of its Ohio Distracted Driving Task Force. This included highway patrols, sheriffs, police officers and prosecutors.
Participants in the survey were asked about their opinions regarding distracted driving enforcement. The survey revealed that:
- 94 percent of Ohio law enforcement personnel support primary enforcement of distracted driving laws.
- 83 percent support license suspension for repeat offenders.
- 98 percent support anti-distraction education.
- 59 percent support widespread hand-held device bans.
Some officers supported:
- Small fines (no more than $200) for first-time offenders
- Up to 2 points added to the driving record for a first-time offense
- Up to 4 points added to the driving record for repeat offenses
The challenges Ohio police often face when enforcing distracted driving laws include:
- Driver age — primary enforcement in Ohio only applies to drivers under the age of 18.
- Proving distracted driving can be difficult
- Laws may differ by local jurisdiction
The survey also found that enforcement for distracted driving is the third most important priority for Ohio law enforcement personnel. Drunk and drugged driving was prioritized as the most important. Speeding and seatbelt use was considered the least important.
Can distracted driving laws prevent distracted driving?
Enforcement of distracted driving laws can help reduce the number of drivers using cellphones. It may not prevent other forms of distracted driving, however.
It's common for drivers to multi-task behind the wheel. This may include eating and drinking, taking care of personal hygiene, tuning a radio or programming GPS navigation.
How can an attorney help me if I was injured by a distracted driver?
If you were injured in a crash with a distracted driver, get an experienced Ohio car accident attorney on your side who can launch a thorough investigation. The legal team at Merriman Legal, LLC can gather the following evidence:
- Cellphone records
- Social media posts
- A detailed police report
- Dash cam footage (if available)
- Surveillance camera footage (if available)
- Witness statements
Our attorneys can also take on the at-fault driver's insurance company and advocate for fair and full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and other crash-related damages.
We serve clients in Cleveland and throughout Ohio. Contact us online or call us at 866-823-3332 to schedule your no obligation case evaluation.