Ohio has toughened penalties for texting while driving in legislation signed by Gov. Kasich on July 30.
 - Photo via U.S. Air Force.

Ohio has toughened penalties for texting while driving in legislation signed by Gov. Kasich on July 30.

Photo via U.S. Air Force.

Legislation signed by Gov. John Kasich on July 30 broadens Ohio's current texting-while-driving ban to include several forms of distracted driving and could cost offenders an additional $100 penalty, according to Cleveland.com. 

With the legislation, the definition of distracted driving behavior now includes engaging in activities such as reading, texting, using a tablet or smartphone, grooming or applying cosmetics.

Under the new law, which goes into effect this October, distracted driving becomes a secondary offense. That means officers who write a citation for a specific traffic violation committed by the driver — speeding or disobeying traffic lights, for example — can also give the driver an extra ticket if any type of distracted driving behavior contributed to the primary offense, reports Cleveland.com.

The tougher penalty would be applied for specific moving violations, including but not limited to, driving on the wrong side of the road, tailgating, failing to stay in one’s lane, and failing to use turn signals, according to a report in the Dayton Daily News.

Violators will be given the option to pay up to $100 in penalties or take a distracted driving safety course, according to reports.

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