Ohio recently passed a ban on texting and driving, but some feel that the law as it currently stands lacks teeth. Texting at the wheel is only a secondary offense, which means that the driver must engage in some other illegal habit before an officer could pull them over. Only persons under 18 would be privy to being pulled over for texting alone.
The city of Akron may soon start taking texting more seriously than lawmakers at the state level. On Monday, two council members introduced a measure that would remove the age distinction in place under the state law, making texting a primary offense for all drivers. As it currently stands, a breach of the law would entail a $150 fine, plus a two month license suspension if the offender is found to be under the age of 18.
It will be a couple weeks until a final decision is made on the law, which drew inspiration from a similar ordinance in place throughout Cincinnati. At the state level, drivers aren’t in danger of being pulled over until March, when enforcement begins in earnest. That’s because the statewide law put in place a six month period wherein drivers would receive warnings instead of fines.
The council persons who introduced the bill are hopeful that it will be passed, and they fielded questions from other council members about phone-based GPS devices and other wrinkles that might inhibit proper enforcement of the law.