Ohio's new texting and driving ban will start to be enforced this Friday, meaning officers will start writing tickets for offenders.
Ohio is the 39th state to ban texting while driving and the first state with a full hand-held electronic communications device ban for minors. For adult drivers the law says it is illegal to text while driving, but they have to commit another violation before they can be ticketed for texting. The penalty is a misdemeanor and carries a fine up to 150 dollars. For teen drivers the penalty is more strict.
"The fine for youthful offenders which is 16, 17 year olds is 150 dollars and a sixty license suspension on a first offense and a subsequent before they turn 18 it's a 300 dollar fine and a one year license suspension," said Lt. Matt Boyd with the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Officers are taking the new law very seriously. Students agree they should.
"I personally do not think it's strict just because that's a very large privilege and with a very large privilege comes responsibility so I think it's good," said Zanesville High School senior, Matthew Thompson Harris.
The state allows exceptions for pre-programmed GPS, vehicles in a stationary position and outside a lane of travel as well as emergency calls to law enforcement.