Governor Renews Push To Strengthen Distracted Driving Laws

Governor Mike DeWine is renewing his efforts to make distracted driving reason enough to pull someone over.

Under current law, police need another reason to pull drivers over before a distracted driving ticket can be issued.

DeWine says he’s including in his two-year state budget a proposal to strengthen Ohio’s distracted driving laws.

The measure would address writing, sending or looking at texts, watching or recording photos or videos, holding a device to make a call, or livestreaming while handling an electronic device, among other activities.

DeWine’s proposal would make those a primary driving offense, meaning police don’t need another reason to pull drivers over first.

With limited exceptions, the Hands-Free Ohio provisions in Governor DeWine’s budget proposal will make driving while handling any electronic wireless device a primary offense for adult drivers and will increase fines for drivers who habitually use devices while driving.

In cases where a driver using a device causes serious injury or death, the penalties will mirror those of drunken driving.

“Ohio’s current laws don’t go far enough to change the culture around distracted driving, and people are dying because of it,” said Governor DeWine.

“Distracted driving is a choice that must be as culturally unacceptable as drunk driving is today, and strengthening our current laws will lead to more responsible driving.”

In March of 2020, the stretch of Interstate 75 between Findlay and Beaverdam (below) has been designated a Distracted Driving Safety Corridor with extra enforcement and higher fines. Read about that by clicking here.