Trooper Talks On Enforcing New Texting Law

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After a six-month warning period, drivers in Ohio will now get tickets instead of warnings for violating the texting and driving law.

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are out looking for drivers who are violating the texting law that's now in full effect.

"If I saw them actually texting, well I'd say 'I saw you,' and I can immediately issue the citation, but if I just suspected them of that, I could ask them for their phone, and if they choose not to give it to me they don't have to. I would have to get a warrant at that point," said Trooper Alan Dunbar, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The new law states texting while driving is a secondary offense, unless you are under 18. Then using any type of electronic hand-held device while behind the wheel is illegal, and you can pulled over for it.

"We want your attention to be on the road, because when you are texting and driving, 16 and 17 year olds, you have a vehicle two, three cars ahead, you look down for once second, you start texting, the next thing you know you are going rear end another car in front of you. We just need to eliminate that," said Dunbar.

Teens caught sending email, talking or texting face a $150 fine and can lose their license up to 60 days. If they get busted a second time, the fine doubles and your license is suspended for a year. Some drivers agree with the texting law.

"I think it's a good idea. I think there's a lot of teens and young kids out here that texting on their phone and not paying attention to traffic," said Tasjana Darner, of Cleveland.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the only time a minor should make a call while behind the wheel is to call 911. If they need to call their mother of father in case of an emergency, troopers said that's when they should pull over to the side of the road safely and then make the call.

As for adult drivers, law enforcement first has to stop you for a traffic violation before you get a texting ticket, which can run you up to $150.

For much more on the texting ban, click here.

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