Texting While Driving Ban Tough on Teens

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WESTLAKE, Ohio — It is officially against the law to text while driving in the State of Ohio.

“Nobody is allowed to text while operating a vehicle.  They can’t compose one, send one or read one,” said Westlake Police Captain Guy Turner.

According to Captain Turner, the texting-while-driving ban went into effect on Friday and it’s tough on teenagers.

“Anyone 16 or 17 with a temporary or provisional license are not permitted to use any electronic device except a GPS,” added Captain Turner.

House Bill 99 makes texting a secondary offense for adults and a primary offense for teens.

However, no citations will be issued, yet.

“For the next six months, we can only issue warnings for any violations.  There is no provision for us.  If we encounter an offender multiple times, we can only write warnings.  So, over the next six months, we are hoping that people take it to heart,” said Captain Turner.

For many drivers, using their cell phones in the car is a tough habit to break.

“I have peeked down at a text but I’ve never actually written back and I generally try not to be on my phone,” said Elaine Tanko, of Cleveland.

“I do use my phone from time to time!  Hopefully, I won’t be caught using it and I get out of the habit of doing it,” said Jamal Lumbes, of Cleveland.

Captain Turner says the warnings only last until March first.

After that, he says, “You’ve been warned.  You have six months to change your behavior.  If you can’t put this down, you are going to get a citation.”

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