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Ohio Drivers and the New Phone Law

05.02.23 written by

As of April 4, 2023, Ohioans are not permitted to use their phones to make a call, send a text, surf the web, or use an app while driving. You can get pulled over if an officer sees you doing any of these activities. In the initial stages of enforcement of this new law, the officer may only give you a warning. The thought is to allow a period of time for drivers to adjust to the enforcement of this new law. However, in 6 months, the plan will be that you will more than likely receive a citation that carries with it a number of negative repercussions.

A number of drivers are conducting these activities every time they start their car. It is sometimes so easy to pick up your I-phone and look at it while in your car driving or stopped at a light. As a result of studies showing numerous accidents being caused by drivers not paying attention and using their phones, the Ohio legislature has enacted this new law to discourage drivers from using their phones while driving in hopes that the number of accidents will be reduced. We will have to wait and see if this law discourages the use of phones while driving and thus also reduces the number of accidents that occur while drivers are using their phones.

A number of situations will still be allowed. For example, drivers who are over 18 years of age are permitted to use blue tooth speakers, earpieces, headsets, etc.… to have conversations while driving. They are simply not permitted to initiate those conversations while driving. Drivers who are under 18 years of age are not permitted to conduct these conversations using these devices while driving. As with most laws, there are exceptions. Some of those exceptions to the general rule where drivers are permitted to use their phones are during an emergency, when only talking on the phone, first responders while on the job, and utilities workers during a power outage while on the job.

Once you receive a citation for violating this law, certain penalty levels exist. Those penalty levels can consist of receiving insurance points on your license, fines, and even a license suspension depending on the number of violations of this law you have committed.

Please be aware of this new law that recently took effect that makes it illegal to make a call, send a text, surf the web, or use an app while driving. 

NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.

James F. Contini II, Esq.
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning,
Trust & Probate Law by the OSBA
Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA
405 Chauncey Avenue NW
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
Phone:  (330) 364-3472
Fax:  (330) 602-3187