By Margaret Bagnell
On Aug. 31, Ohio became the 36th state to ban texting while driving.
The law states it illegal to send, write or read a text message, talk on a cell phone, use Bluetooth, or other hands free devices, or handle a GPS (it must be hands free), while driving, even if the driver is stopped.
Law enforcement stated they will pay more attention to drivers and will watch for those violating the new law.
They will issue warnings to those who are caught using a cell phone or wireless device while driving for the next six months. Offenders caught after the six months or over will be fined and will have a license suspension placed.
Drivers under the age of 18 found using any electronic device will be fined $150 and receive a 60 day suspension of their license for a primary offense.
Minors caught a second time will then be charged $300 and have their license suspended for a year. Adult drivers caught using any electronic devices will be pulled over for a secondary offense and will be fined $150 for a misdemeanor.
The ban was enacted to make roads safer. But some students said the punishment for texting while driving is harsh.
“I think it is harsh because just looking at your phone and getting pulled over is still considered texting while driving even if you hadn’t sent a message,” junior Brad Ingles said.
Technology continues to advance and its consumers cannot keep their hands off electronic devices.
“Phones have changed so much that it is easier to text while driving,” Ingles said. “Also, people are so addicted to their phones and technological devices we have to know everything exactly when it happens.”
However, students said they are pleased with this new law to make the roads a safer place. Senior David Soohoo said he avoids cell phone use while driving.
“I think we’re crazy to trust people to drive cars going 60 to 70 miles (while texting). The chances of crashing are pretty high. I typically try not to text while I drive, I think it’s dumb to put my life and others at risk because I want to respond to a message that was probably only two words,” Soohoo said.