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Distracted Driving Might Soon be a Primary Offense in Ohio

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With New Year’s just around the bend, it’s not too early for people — and states — to set goals for 2020. For instance, one of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s goals for 2020 is to make distracted driving a primary offense for drivers of all ages. 

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Ohio’s current distracted-driving policies

According to Ohio’s current laws, distracted driving is a primary offense for only drivers who are under 18 years of age. It’s a secondary offense for drivers over this age threshold. You’ll typically have to pay a $100 fine for this infraction. 

A push for more stringent rules

DeWine is spearheading efforts to ramp up the state’s current policies. To this end, he’s promised to introduce legislature sometime in the near future, as Local 12 News confirms. 

He articulated the irony of how smartphones can result in stupid driving habits and behaviors. “We need a culture change around distracted driving. It must be as culturally unacceptable as drunk driving,” said DeWine.  

As strict as the new policy might sound, the statistics are definitely in favor of DeWine’s proposal. Per the Beacon Journal, Ohio troopers have issued 800-percent more distracted-driving violations this year than last year (8,200 citations, to be exact). During 2018 alone, there were 14,000 crashes involving distracted driving in the state, which resulted in 51 fatalities and nearly 7,000 injuries. 

Concluding thoughts

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see when the stricter policies will take root in Ohio. Until then, however, it’s a great reminder to put away electronics and stay focused on the road — both during and afer the holiday season. 

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