Effective April 4, 2023, texting while driving is now considered a misdemeanor offense in Ohio. Here is what you can’t do:
Section 4511.204 (A) of Ohio’s revised Code states that “No person shall operate a motor vehicle…on any street, highway, or property open to the public…while using, holding, or physically supporting with any part of the person’s body an electronic wireless communications device.”
The statute states no texting or using your cell phone while driving.
There are, however, MULTIPLE exceptions to the texting-while-driving ban. Here is what you can do:
- Use your cell phone while driving to make an emergency call.
- Use your cell phone if your car is stationary while at a traffic control signal, if you are stopped outside the travel lane, or if your roadway is closed due to an emergency.
- Use your cell phone through your vehicle’s Bluetooth technology if you don’t manually enter letters, numbers, or symbols into it or hold or support it with any part of your body.
- Hold your cell phone next to your ear during a call if you don’t manually enter letters, numbers, or symbols into it.
- Use your cell phone to send or receive navigation instructions if you don’t hold or support it with any part of your body or have it holstered, harnessed, or integrated into your clothing.
- Use your cell phone on speaker if you don’t hold or support it with any part of your body.
- Use your cell phone by using a single touch or single swipe feature such as speed dial if you don’t hold or support it with any part of your body while on the call.
- Use your cell phone if you’re driving a public safety vehicle and making a job-related call.
- Use a mobile data entry terminal while driving a commercial vehicle.
- Use your cell phone if you work for a utility company and are in a company vehicle responding to a power outage.
Penalties for violating the no texting while driving statute increases on a two-year sliding scale. First-time offenders of this statute face up to a $150.00 fine. A second violation within a two-year timeframe increases the fine to $250. Three violations within a two-year timeframe increases the fine to $500, and the court may suspend your driver’s license for up to 90 days.
If you, a friend, or a family member, need legal assistance, we can help you. For answers to questions concerning your traffic rights, contact L. Michael Bly, Esq. at 937-223-1130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.