Ohio's current ban on texting while driving should be changed. Under the current law, it is a primary offense for drivers under the age of 18, but only a secondary offense for drivers over the age of 18. This means that a police officer can only ticket an adult for texting while driving if they are first pulled over for committing a primary offense. However, if an officer sees a minor texting while driving, the officer can pull him or her over immediately and issue a ticket.
Currently, minors face a $150 fine and license suspension for 60 days for the first violation. Second and subsequent violations result in a $300 fine and license suspension for one year. The penalty for adult drivers, whether it is their first or 10th violation, is only a fine of up to $150.
Texting while driving makes the driver 23 times more likely to have an accident. It also causes a 400-percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road. It is certain that most, if not all, of us have witnessed these drivers and the dangers they pose. While many of the drivers who text are teenagers, a recent survey revealed that 14 percent of all drivers admit they text or read emails while driving. Currently, minors are being held more accountable than their own parents. Penalties should be the same for all people violating this law.
If Ohio's texting ban is modified to make this violation a primary offense for all drivers, this could significantly decrease unsafe driving. The risk of being cited will discourage drivers from texting. All repeat offenders will face stiffer penalties, including the threat of license suspension. These consequences currently apply to minors, why not adults?
YSU BSN student