ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Today majority of people have cellphones, laptops, and other devices as necessities, but preferably not on the roadways.
All law enforcement is on alert for people texting while driving and ready to ticket distracted drivers. Zanesville Police Department’s Chief Tony Coury said they’re looking for vehicles swerving out of their lane, speeds increasing or decreasing, and reports of intoxication that is actually a person on their cellphone.
“Any time we’re investigating traffic accidents a lot of times the officers are asking were you on your cellphone, were you talking, were you texting, and what were you doing,” said Chief Coury.
According to Ohio Law 333.11 ‘Texting While Driving Prohibited’ No person shall drive a vehicle on public roadways while using a handheld electronic device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.
“The city does have an ordinance for this, but it’s a secondary defense for the adult,” Chief Coury said. “So it would be a ticket on top of whatever caused the accident. For texting and driving it’s just another offence for us and we’ll charge accordingly.”
Chief Coury understands people may need to use their phones while driving, but he suggests to wait until the vehicle can be pulled over and stopped, or use a device that will let you verbally communicate while both hands are on the steering wheel.
“I think you’ve seen all the signs, and all the advertisements,” Chief Coury said. “It can wait, you know there’s nothing too important that you need to look at that phone while you’re driving. Live under the assumption that what’s important now and what’s important now is the safety of you and the safety of those on our city streets.”
According to Ohio Law 4511.205 ‘Use of devices by persons under 18 years of age’ juveniles can be charged as a primary offence if caught texting and driving. The driver could be fined $150.00 and have a class seven suspension of their license or permit for 60 days.