Ohio Senate to vote on State Texting Ban

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - In October of 2010, Cincinnati's texting ban went into effect with fines of $100 if caught texting behind the wheel.  Today Ohio lawmakers look to follow suit, preparing to vote on a bill that aims to keep cell phones, iPads or other electronic devices out of the hands of teen drivers when they are behind the wheel.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday, after a Senate transportation committee made a series of changes that include loosening a proposed statewide texting ban on adult drivers.

Minors could have hands-free, GPS navigation devices. But they couldn't use other devices unless there's an emergency.

The bill would make texting with hand-held devices a secondary offense for adults. That means drivers could be ticketed for typing emails or instant messages only if they were pulled over for another offense, such as running a red light.

The bill would make using an electronic device while driving a primary offense for those under the age of 18. Minors could be fined $150 for the first offense and have their license suspended for 60 days. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $300 and have their license taken away for a year.  The Measure wouldn't trump city ordinances on texting or cell phone use that may tougher.

Right now texting while driving is prohibited in 37 states according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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