Now in effect: Mantua law bars drivers from holding their dogs behind the wheel

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MANTUA, Ohio– It’s now against the law to hold your dog while driving in one Portage County community.

Mantua’s new distracted driving law went into effect on Thursday. It makes writing, sending or reading texts a primary offense. The law also says drivers cannot hold an animal or allow an animal to distract their ability to operate a motor vehicle.

It does not apply to those in parked cars. Drivers are still permitted to make calls using hands-free or Bluetooth devices.

“So, put down your phone. Keep your animals under control in your vehicle. And, keep your eyes on the road,” the Mantua Police Department said.

The first offense is a minor misdemeanor. If the offense results in a crash, it is a third-degree misdemeanor.