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Hundreds Snagged By Texting While Driving Ban

Paul Oka
It's against the law to text and drive in Ohio.

Hundreds of Ohio drivers have been cited since the state instituted a ban on texting while driving two years ago. 

Still the state-wide ban, making texting a secondary driving offense, contains little bite compared with bans in 39 other states and the District of Columbia, where drivers can be pulled over for texting alone. 

We talked with Marc Kovac. He's the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Dix Newspapers and the Youngstown Vindicator. Kovac recently wrote an article on the state's ban on texting while driving where he culled through statistics from the first two-and-a-half years of the ban's existence. During that timeframe, he says, more than 700 Ohio drivers have been cited for texting or using some other sort of electronic device while driving.

Kovac says for drivers under the age of 18, the texting ban is a primary offense. That means they can be pulled over simply for texting. Adults who text and drive commit what is called a secondary offense. Kovac says that means they can't be stopped for driving along, but they can be cited if they are texting while committing some other driving offense such as speeding.

Kovac says efforts to strengthen the state's ban on texting while driving continue at the Ohio Statehouse.