Ohio’s New Distracted Driving Law Sees Positive Impact in Recent Report

May 11, 2023
CMT reports that distracted driving has been reduced by 9.1% along with other prevented incidents.

New data shows that Ohio’s distracted driving law is positively impacting Ohio’s roadways.

State leaders including Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, leaders from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the Ohio Safety Office (OTSO) recently shared their confidence in the results of the law that was instated only a month ago.

“Ohio’s new law went into effect a little over a month ago, and it’s already making a difference,” said Governor DeWine. “I’m glad to see that Ohio drivers are making safety a priority and putting their phones down while they drive.”

In most cases, the law makes it illegal for drivers to hold or use a cell phone or electronic device. Under the law, the violation is a primary offense and drivers can be pulled over immediately if police see a violation.

A recent report from the world’s largest telematics service provider, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), found that Ohio drivers spend less time using devices while driving since the law went into effect April 4, 2023.

CMT’s data shows that since April 4, distracted driving has been reduced by 9.1%, which has helped prevent 540 crashes, a single fatality and an estimated $13 million in economic damages. CMT estimates that there was also a 9-second drop in the time Ohio drivers interacted with their phones for every hour of driving.

“States that pass hands-free laws typically see a decrease in hand-held phone use and crashes.  This data shows we’re on the right track to making our streets and highways safer in Ohio,” said Michelle May, manager of ODOT’s Highway Safety Program. “I believe more Ohioans will choose to put their phones downs as they learn about the new law and the dangers of interacting with their screens while driving.”

The state is now pushing a “Phones Down. It’s The Law.” public awareness campaign to teach drivers about the new law. The campaign will be disseminated on television, billboards, social media, radio ads and on a new website at phonesdown.ohio.gov.

As of May 10, approximately 2,100 campaign materials have been distributed to traffic safety partners across Ohio.


Source: Ohio Department of Public Safety 

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