Ohio’s distracted driving laws generally ban texting-while-driving for all motorists and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the law prohibits and the costs and other consequences of a violation.
For most Ohio motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cellphone while driving.
However, for motorists who are under the age of 18 and driving with a temporary instruction permit or probationary license all wireless device use while driving is prohibited. In other words, the prohibition means no texting and no talking on a cellphone for these underage drivers.
Exceptions. Ohio’s wireless-device-use ban on underage drivers doesn’t apply when a device is used by a person:
Penalties. For a first violation of the underage wireless-device-use law, there’s a $150 fine and 60-day license suspension. Second violations carry $300 in fines and a one-year license suspension.
Ohio’s distracted driving law prohibits all motorists from using a handheld wireless communication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving.
Handheld wireless communication devices. The distracted driving law defines “handheld wireless communication device” as any wireless telephone, text-messaging device, personal digital assistant, computer, laptop, tablet, or similar wireless device designed or used for text communications.
Exceptions. Ohio’s texting-while-driving law contains a number of exceptions. These exceptions include using a device:
Penalties. A texting-while-driving violation is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. A conviction carries a maximum $100 fine.Depending on the circumstances, a texting violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if a texting offense results in the death of another person, vehicular manslaughter charges are a possibility.