Ohio has broadened its distracted driving law beyond just hands-free cell phone use.
 - Photo via U.S. Air Force.

Ohio has broadened its distracted driving law beyond just hands-free cell phone use.

Photo via U.S. Air Force.

A distracted driving law that went into effect in Ohio at the end of October adds an extra $100 penalty to a traffic violation if the driver is also found to be inattentive behind the wheel, reports the Lima News.

Currently, Ohio does have an anti-texting law, but it is challenging to enforce because officers need to prove the motorist was texting while driving.

Essentially, the new distracted driving law broadens the definition of distraction beyond texting to include any activity unnecessary to operating a motor vehicle, according to the report. That might be eating, applying makeup, making a phone call, or fiddling with the radio, for example.

Officers no longer need to spot a driver texting; rather, they just need to note the type of distracted driving that occurred when filing violation reports. The extra $100 penalty goes into effect on top of any fines earned from the primary violation.

Violators can opt to complete a one-hour long online course and their $100 fine will be waived.

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