(From the Ohio State Highway Patrol)
Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Findlay District will focus efforts on curbing distracted driving this weekend, as Ohio’s new distracted driving law became enforceable on October 5.
The northwest Ohio initiative started at 12 a.m. on October 6, and will end at 11:59 p.m. on October 8.
On April 4, Ohio’s distracted driving law became stricter and is now a primary offense. The new law gave law enforcement officers probable cause to pull over motorists if they witness them illegally using a cell phone or other electronic device.
Since then, there have been 446 distracted driving-related crashes in the Findlay District, a 10 percent decrease over the same time frame in 2022.
While these numbers are encouraging, distracted driving still occurs on a daily basis on our roadways. In an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving-related crashes, northwest Ohio troopers will be out this weekend looking for drivers violating the new law.
“The purpose of this initiative is to bring further awareness and education to the problem of distracted driving,” said Captain William N. Bowers, Findlay District commander.
“Crashes involving distracted driving are preventable and choosing to drive distracted can result in devastating consequences.”
A driver found violating the new distracted driving law, also known as driving while texting, can face up to a $150 fine and two points will be assessed on their license.
The driver has the option of taking the Distracted Driving Safety Course on a first offense, potentially having the points waived and the fine reduced.
Fines and points increase with subsequent offenses of the distracted driving law during the two-year lookback period.
Information on the new law can be found at PhonesDown.Ohio.gov and an educational video can be watched or downloaded here.
The public is encouraged to call #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity.