The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

Texting while driving now illegal in Ohio

Staff/submitted reports

As of today, it is illegal to use any mobile communications device while driving in Ohio for those under the age of 18.

Texting while driving is now illegal in Ohio as a new law goes into effect today. (MGN Online graphic)

This means no texting, emailing, cell phone calls, video games, iPad/tablet or handheld GPS use while driving, even when sitting at a light or in a traffic jam. The law also prohibits adults from writing, sending or reading a text-based message from behind the wheel of a car.

There is a six-month warning period during which no enforcement will be taken. After that date, enforcement action begins. That means warnings only will be issued until March 31, 2013.

This is a primary offense for those under the age of 18, which means it is the only reason police need to pull a driver over. Texting while driving is a secondary offense for adults, which means law enforcement officers have to find another reason for pulling adult drivers over in order to cite them for texting while driving.

First violation is a $150 fine and driver license suspension for 60 days. Second violation is a $300 fine and license suspension for one year.  Exceptions include pre-programmed GPS or emergency calls to police, ambulance, or fire department.

For more information, visit

POSTED: 08/31/12 at 6:12 am. FILED UNDER: News