New distracted driving law information
On April 4, 2023, it will be illegal in most circumstances for anyone in Ohio to use or hold a cell phone or electronic device while driving. Ohio’s strengthened law designates the use of cell phones and other electronic communications devices while driving as a primary traffic offense for all drivers and allows law enforcement to immediately pull over a distracted driver upon witnessing a violation. Under the previous law, distracted driving was a primary offense only for juvenile drivers, preventing officers from stopping adult distracted drivers unless those drivers also committed a separate primary traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light.
The law includes a 6-month grace period in which law enforcement will issue warnings as part of an effort to educate motorists about the law changes. Beginning on October 4, 2023, law enforcement officers will begin issuing tickets to those found violating the law.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, distracted driving has caused at least 60,421 crashes and 209 deaths in Ohio over the past five years, although distracted-driving crashes are believed to be significantly underreported. The Pierce Township Police Department believes that the enforcement of this law will reduce accidents and save lives. Therefore, all Pierce Township officers will be on the lookout for violations.