130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 261  As Introduced
As Introduced

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
2009-2010
H. B. No. 261


Representative DeBose 



A BILL
To amend section 4510.01 and to enact section 4511.204 of the Revised Code to prohibit driving a vehicle while text messaging or typing on a mobile communication device and to establish the violation as a secondary traffic offense.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 4510.01 be amended and section 4511.204 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4510.01.  As used in this title and in Title XXIX of the Revised Code:
(A) "Cancel" or "cancellation" means the annulment or termination by the bureau of motor vehicles of a driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege because it was obtained unlawfully, issued in error, altered, or willfully destroyed, or because the holder no longer is entitled to the license, permit, or privilege.
(B) "Drug abuse offense," "cocaine," and "L.S.D." have the same meanings as in section 2925.01 of the Revised Code.
(C) "Ignition interlock device" means a device approved by the director of public safety that connects a breath analyzer to a motor vehicle's ignition system, that is constantly available to monitor the concentration by weight of alcohol in the breath of any person attempting to start that motor vehicle by using its ignition system, and that deters starting the motor vehicle by use of its ignition system unless the person attempting to start the vehicle provides an appropriate breath sample for the device and the device determines that the concentration by weight of alcohol in the person's breath is below a preset level.
(D) "Immobilizing or disabling device" means a device approved by the director of public safety that may be ordered by a court to be used by an offender as a condition of limited driving privileges. "Immobilizing or disabling device" includes an ignition interlock device, and any prototype device that is used according to protocols designed to ensure efficient and effective monitoring of limited driving privileges granted by a court to an offender.
(E) "Moving violation" means any violation of any statute or ordinance that regulates the operation of vehicles, streetcars, or trackless trolleys on the highways or streets. "Moving violation" does not include a violation of section 4511.204 or 4513.263 of the Revised Code or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, a violation of any statute or ordinance regulating pedestrians or the parking of vehicles, vehicle size or load limitations, vehicle fitness requirements, or vehicle registration.
(F) "Municipal OVI ordinance" and "municipal OVI offense" have the same meanings as in section 4511.181 of the Revised Code.
(G) "Prototype device" means any testing device to monitor limited driving privileges that has not yet been approved or disapproved by the director of public safety.
(H) "Suspend" or "suspension" means the permanent or temporary withdrawal, by action of a court or the bureau of motor vehicles, of a driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of the suspension or the permanent or temporary withdrawal of the privilege to obtain a license, permit, or privilege of that type for the period of the suspension.
(I) "Controlled substance" and "marihuana" have the same meanings as in section 3719.01 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4511.204.  (A) No person shall drive a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while text messaging or typing on a mobile communication device.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A person using a mobile communication device in that manner for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;
(2) A person operating a public safety vehicle who uses a mobile communication device in that manner in the course of the person's duties.
(C) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause an operator of an automobile being operated on any street or highway to stop the automobile for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of division (A) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation, or summons for a violation of that nature or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that nature, and no law enforcement officer shall view the interior or visually inspect any automobile being operated on any street or highway for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of that nature has been or is being committed.
(D)(1) Whoever violates division (A) of this section shall be fined two hundred fifty dollars.
(2)(a) Whenever a law enforcement officer issues a ticket, citation, or summons to an offender charging the offender with a violation of this section, the officer shall indicate on the ticket, citation, or summons if at the time of the violation the offender was involved in a motor vehicle accident with another motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or any object. If the law enforcement officer makes such an indication on the ticket, citation, or summons, the offender is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive the offender's right to contest the citation in a trial but instead shall appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge; in all other circumstances, the offender may enter a written plea of guilty and waive the right to contest the citation in a trial.
(b) If the trier of fact finds that the offender was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the time of the violation of this section, the court, in addition to any other penalties it is required or permitted by law to impose, shall impose a class seven license suspension of the offender's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege and shall impose the suspension for six months.
(E) As used in this section, "mobile communication device" includes any of the following:
(1) A wireless telephone;
(2) A text-messaging device;
(3) A personal digital assistant;
(4) A computer;
(5) Any other substantially similar wireless device that is designed or used to communicate text or data.
Section 2. That existing section 4510.01 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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