Ohio's new distracting driving law now in effect


    Ohio's new distracted driving law more broadly defines what it means to be "distracted." (WSYX/WTTE)

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — New changes to Ohio’s distracted driving law are now in effect. There are more things that could get you in trouble and it could cost you.

    "Distracted driving is becoming a major issue,” said State Trooper Joseph Freilling.

    A new driving law in Ohio is cracking down on distracted driving. The new law defines distracted driving as anything not necessary for driving. Anything from adjusting the radio, eating food or putting on makeup, could potentially get you an extra fine.

    "Between 2016 and 2017 there were almost a double in fatal crashes that were a result of distracted driving,” said Freilling.

    The new law adds a minimum of a $100 distracted driving fine on top of whatever else you're already getting a ticket for. That's what happened to one driver Tuesday. Trooper Freilling pulled over a driver for a lane violation. However, because she was using her phone's GPS, he also gave her a distracted driving citation.

    "This type of legislation is definitely beneficial,” said Stephan Kotevski.

    Some drivers are happy to hear about the new law. However, others aren't sure if they agree.

    "I just don't think it's going to make it safer,” said Inara Salmans. "I don't think they can really enforce it."

    Police say at the end of the day, the new law is to educate people not do something careless or dangerous in the first place.

    "It's not to take money from their pockets,” said Freilling. “It's not to take food off their table. It's to stress the importance of life is more important than a text message."

    If a driver does get cited for distracted driving, they can take a distracted driving safety course to waive the fine

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