No citations yet in Toledo for texting and driving - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

No citations yet in Toledo for texting and driving

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Since texting while driving became illegal in Ohio on March 1, Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) officers have been on the lookout for distracted drivers.

Officers are now able to issue citations for drivers texting behind the wheel, but it's only a secondary offense.

"That means, in other words, you must be stopped for some kind of primary offense, which would usually be engaged in some sort of other driving or probable cause," said Sgt. Eric Gonzalez, Assistant Post Commander of the Toledo Highway Patrol Post.

But that's not the case for juveniles. The law says anyone under 18 can be stopped for distracted driving as a primary offense. Sgt. Gonzalez said teens are still learning, and need to keep all their attention on the roads.

"They need to be more observant of the roadway rather than the phone or an iPod," he said.

The problem with the new law is enforcement. So far, Gonzalez said OSHP has not issued any citations in the Toledo area. In order to issue a citation, an officer has to catch a driver in the act, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the law was broken.

Some drivers may be grateful for that detail.

"I'm not a fan of more reasons to get pulled over," said Sue Miller. "But people should be paying attention while driving and definitely shouldn't be texting."

Patrolmen say if a person is driving 45 miles per hour, they should be at least 99 feet from the vehicle in front of them – that's less than two seconds of driving time. Every second a driver's eyes are on their phone, they're a danger to themselves and everyone around them.

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