Legislative Influence on the Construction Industry

Ohio Takes On New Preventative Measures for Distracted Driving

Senate Bill 288 introduced new legislation to cut down on distracted driving through regulation on the usage of cell phones while driving. This bill introduces new rules and penalties for using a cellphone while driving and has prompted a statewide campaign: “Phones Down. It is the Law.” which has popped up on billboards and public service messages across the state.  

So, what is the new law? The overarching sentiment of the law is that: “No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using, holding, or physically supporting with any part of the person’s body an electronic wireless communications device.” 

This law holds some caveats to an overall ban with the following exceptions: 

  • Drivers reporting an emergency to law enforcement, a hospital, health care provider, fire department, or similar emergency entity. 
  • Drivers holding a phone to their ear only during phone conversations, if the call is started or stopped with a single touch or swipe. 
  • Drivers holding or using cell phones and other electronic devices while stopped at a traffic light or parked on a road or highway during an emergency or road closure. 
  • First responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS), using electronic devices as part of their official duties.  
  • Utility workers operating utility vehicles in certain emergency or outage situations.  
  • Licensed operators using an amateur radio. 
  • Commercial truck drivers using a mobile data terminal. 

The law is a step in the right direction to creating accountability for distracted drivers who cause havoc on the road and in work zones by creating fines for offenses and adding points to drivers’ licenses of first time and repeat offenders, and doubles fines and repercussions in work zones. To learn more about the new law and all that it covers, check out the link below.  


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