New Distracted Driving Law Enforcement Begins October 5

The New Albany Police Department would like to remind residents that enforcement of Ohio’s statewide distracted driving law (Senate Bill 288)  begins on October 5. The new 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 new law, drivers cannot use, hold or physically support an electronic wireless communication device while driving.

A driver may still use their device in specific circumstances, such as when their vehicle is parked or stopped at a red light. Drivers are also permitted to swipe their phones to answer a call and to hold their phones to their ears during phone conversations. Emergency calls are also permitted in all circumstances.

The new law took effect on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, but it was followed by a six-month grace period. Penalties include a fine of up to $150 for a driver’s first offense and two points on their license unless a distracted driving safety course is completed.  Increased penalties can occur if the driver is a repeat offender.

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