Kasich Signs Statewide Texting Ban For Drivers

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Adult drivers can no longer text, type or surf the Web from behind the wheel, according to a new law signed by Gov. John Kasich on Friday.

All drivers are banned from texting, though young drivers could more easily be pulled over for it, 10TV’s Tanisha Mallett reported.

The bill would make texting a secondary offense for adults. That means drivers could be ticketed for typing messages only if they were first pulled over for another offense, such as running a red light.

Teenagers are banned from using all handheld devices while behind the wheel.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the measure is among the nation's broadest in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions.

Ohio is the 39th state to prohibit texting while driving.

Kasich said that the new law will be enforced.

"It’s a good law,” Kasich said. “It’s needed in our state. I think it’s a really good first start, and if we continue to see a problem, then we will come back. I will support these folks when we come back.”

New Albany implemented a texting ban nearly two years ago, Mallett reported.

In the past two years, police have issued two citations.

“The officer said he was actually seeing that head down, and could tell the driver was looking down at something,” said Chief Mark Chaney.

Chaney said that the law was difficult to enforce and was pleased that the statewide ban changes that.

“People can no long say, ‘I didn’t know you have a local ordinance, that texting was against the law,’” Chaney said.

The ban goes into effect in 90 days.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

May 24, 2012: Funeral Home Working To Stop Teens From Texting While Driving
May 15, 2012: Ohio House Passes Statewide Texting Ban For Teenage Drivers
May 2, 2012: Families Take Emotional Stand Against Texting While Driving