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New Distracted Driving Law Takes Effect in Ohio

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Ohio drivers need to take extra care now that House Bill 95 went into effect on Monday, October 29. This change to the law adds a new $100 fine for drivers charged with distracted driving, and makes distracted driving a secondary offense.

This new fine would be in addition to any other moving violation fines – this means that a driver pulled over and charged with reckless driving can also be charged with distracted driving. Distracted driving in Ohio now covers distractions including, but not limited to:

  • Putting on makeup
  • Using a phone or tablet
  • Reading
  • Texting
“Our legislative goal is to encourage Ohio drivers to be cautious when driving and to think of their safety before anything else,” State Representatives Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington), one of the bill’s co-sponsors said. “No text message or phone call is worth losing your life or harming someone else.”

However, not all drivers may need to pay the fine if convicted or after pleading guilty. The Ohio Department of Public Safety created a distracted driver course that is available instead of paying the additional distracted driving fine as long as they pay any other fines established by other violations, completes the course, and provides written evidence that the course was completed. The course can be found on the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s Driver Training site here: https://www.drivertraining.ohio.gov/.

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