Cincinnati's texting ban will override Ohio's in most aspects

CINCINNATI - Ohio has become the 39th state banning texting behind the wheel.

Governor John Kasich signed the ban Friday making reading, writing and sending text messages while driving illegal.

But there's already a similar law in effect in Cincinnati.

In October 2010, the "No Texting While Driving" ban went into effect, making texting and using the Internet while driving against the law. It can cost you a fine of up to $150.

So what will change?

The Ohio ban says texting while driving is only a secondary offense for adults. That means adults can only be fined for sending a message if they were first pulled over for another offense, like running a red light. A fine could cost you up to $150.

But under Cincinnati's ban, you can be pulled over for simply looking down at your phone, or any other sign of texting.

Cincinnati's law also bans reading or sending information over the Internet for adults. Ohio's law doesn't mention the use of Internet for adults.

Since the city of Cincinnati's laws are stiffer for adults, the local ban will override the statewide ban.

But the Ohio ban's main focus is on teenage drivers.

The use of a cell phone, including taking or making a phone call, will be made illegal for drivers under the age of 18. Minors will also be banned from using iPads or other electronic devices while driving.

Texting while driving will also be considered a first offense for teenage drivers, meaning those under 18 could be pulled over for texting and driving more easily.

Fines for teens could be as high as $300, with the threat of losing a driver's license, depending on the offense.

Since the state ban is stiffer on young drivers, the new teen driving laws will be put into effect in Cincinnati.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the measure would be among the broadest in the country in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions.

Ohio's texting ban will go into effect 90 days after Governor Kasich signed the ban Friday. A six-month warning period will follow that.

Kentucky and Indiana already have statewide texting and driving bans in effect.

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