Texting and driving locally a primary offense

March 2, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

While you may be aware that texting while driving is only a first offense for teenagers in the state of Ohio, on the local level, the Portsmouth City Council passed its “No Texting While Driving” of the codified ordinance which bans writing, sending or reading a text-based communication illegal, with the exception of law enforcement agency, health and hospital care provider, fire department or other types of emergency agency or entity, on June 11, 2012.

That law makes it a primary offense for anyone, not just teen, caught texting and driving in the city. That means no other infraction needs be noted. The fine for a first offense is $150.

First Ward City Councilman Kevin Johnson said there is one more reason area residents need to leave their devices away from their line of sight while driving.

“Given a grant for enforcement and the eventual addition of three new officers on the Portsmouth Police Department, Chief Robert Ware has committed to council that the PPD will be ticketing more offenses under Portsmouth ordinances; which includes texting while driving,” Johnson said.

Portsmouth Mayor David Malone said that city ordinance is less tolerant for those who choose to text while driving, because a person can be pulled over for that reason.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.