With the Ohio House and Senate soon to agree on one version of a texting while driving bill, law enforcement agencies across the state are trying to determine how it would be enforced.
Lieutenant Anne Ralston of the Ohio State Highway Patrol tells AkronNewsNow that for adults they would have to be stopped for another violation first...then, " If at the time the officer had reasonable cause to believe that the person was using their handheld device for texting purposes, at that point in time they could enforce that law as a secondary violation of that offense."
Lieutenant Ralston says the rule will be different for teens who under the law would be banned from texting and driving. If a state trooper or police officer actually saw a teen texting and driving they could be pulled over for that offense alone and charged.
Ralston says the Patrol is taking a "wait and see" approach about enforcing the texting regulations once they become law. "It certainly does raise some issues and concerns about enforcement , but you know we're supportive of this provision," says Ralston.
Listen to Lt. Anne Ralston discuss enforcement of a texting while driving law.
She says in many cases texting and driving leads to other traffic violations. " We normally see that when people are distracted, more likely than not there's going to be some sorts of violations that we're going to see."
The Ohio Senate earlier this week approved its version of a texting while driving bill by a 25-8 vote. Now that version must go back to the House, which had earlier approved its own version of the law. Both chambers will have to come up with a bill that would be approved and go to Governor John Kasich for his signature.
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