Upper Arlington Police Now Can Ticket Drivers For Texting While Driving


UPDATED: Tuesday October 9, 2012 5:45 PM

Texting alone will soon be enough to get you pulled over in Upper Arlington after city leaders agreed to make it a primary offense.

Upper Arlington mother Julie Workman said that she was all for the decision.

"I have four kids, safety is my No. 1 concern," Workman said. "I don't want to get hit by some idiot who's texting and not paying attention to what's around them."

The state of Ohio already bans texting and driving, but it is only a primary offense for drivers under the age of 18. Others must have committed another offense, like running a stop sign, before receiving a citation for texting while driving.

In Upper Arlington, if a driver is pulled over for texting and driving, officers have the right to confiscate their phone and get a search warrant.

Opponents of the ban say that is an invasion of privacy.

Council president Frank Ciotola said that he opposes texting and driving, but voted against making it a primary offense because he said that it is too difficult to enforce.

"Trying to make the judgment of whether they were dialing a phone number or texting or using it for navigation, which you can do that's one of the exceptions, I think is a hard call for the police officer," Ciotola said.

Workman hopes the threat of getting a ticket will convince more drivers to put down their phones.

"People should not be texting while they are driving a car," Workman said.

Columbus and Dublin already ban texting and driving as a primary offense. Upper Arlington's ban takes effect in 30 days.

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