Ohio’s new law banning texting while driving – and prohibiting teens from using wireless communications devices in any way while driving – goes into effect Friday . Here’s what it means to you.

The rules

If you’re under 18: It’s illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio, even while sitting at a light or stuck in traffic.

This means you can’t do any of the following while driving:

• Talk on a cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, OnStar or any similar device

• Write, send or read a text

• Send or read e-mail

• Use computers, laptops or tablets

• Play video games

• Use a GPS (unless it’s a voice-operated or hands-free device)

• Exceptions: Using a pre-programmed GPS; using devices while the vehicle is stationary and outside a lane of travel; calls to emergency personnel (police, hospital, fire department, etc.)

If you’re an adult driver: It’s illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text while driving in Ohio.


If you’re under 18: It’s a primary offense, so police can pull you over just for using wireless devices.

If you’re an adult driver: It’s a secondary offense, meaning an officer would have to stop you for another reason first.

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