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S. B. No. 35 As IntroducedAs Introduced
|129th General Assembly|
To amend sections 4510.01 and 4511.093 and to enact
section 4511.204 of the Revised Code to prohibit
driving a vehicle while using a handheld or
manually operated mobile communication device and
to establish the violation as a secondary traffic
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 4510.01 and 4511.093 be amended and
section 4511.204 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as
Sec. 4510.01. As used in this title and in Title XXIX of the
(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
(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
(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
(I) "Controlled substance" and "marihuana" have the same
meanings as in section 3719.01 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4511.093. (A)(1) No law enforcement officer who stops
the operator of a motor vehicle in the course of an authorized
sobriety or other motor vehicle checkpoint operation or a motor
vehicle safety inspection shall issue a ticket, citation, or
summons for a secondary traffic offense unless in the course of
the checkpoint operation or safety inspection the officer first
determines that an offense other than a secondary traffic offense
has occurred and either places the operator or a vehicle occupant
under arrest or issues a ticket, citation, or summons to the
operator or a vehicle occupant for an offense other than a
(2) A law enforcement agency that operates a motor vehicle
checkpoint for an express purpose related to a secondary traffic
offense shall not issue a ticket, citation, or summons for any
secondary traffic offense at such a checkpoint, but may use such a
checkpoint operation to conduct a public awareness campaign and
(B) As used in this section, "secondary traffic offense"
means a violation of division (A) or (F)(2) of section 4507.05,
division (B)(1)(a) or (b) or (E) of section 4507.071, division (A)
of section 4511.204, division (C) or (D) of section 4511.81,
division (A)(3) of section 4513.03, or division (B) of section
4513.263 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 using a
handheld or manually operated mobile communication device.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any of the
(1) A person using a mobile communication device that is
specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free
operation, and is used in that manner while driving;
(2) A person using a mobile communication device for
emergency purposes, including an emergency call to a law
enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire
department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;
(3) A person operating a public safety vehicle who uses a
mobile communication device 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) A violation of division (A) of this section shall not
be considered or used by the trier of fact in a tort action as
evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. But the trier
of fact may determine based on evidence admitted consistent with
the Ohio rules of evidence that the violation contributed to the
harm alleged in the tort action and may diminish a recovery of
compensatory damages that represents noneconomic loss, as defined
in section 2307.011 of the Revised Code, in a tort action that
could have been recovered but for the plaintiff's violation of
division (A) of this section.
(2) Evidence of a violation of division (A) of this section
shall not be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the
person other than a prosecution for a violation of this section
and shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal action
involving the person other than a prosecution for a violation of
(E) Whoever violates division (A) of this section shall be
fined thirty dollars.
(F) As used in this section:
(1) "Mobile communication device" includes any of the
(a) A wireless telephone;
(b) A text-messaging device;
(c) A personal digital assistant;
(e) Any other substantially similar wireless device that is
designed or used to communicate voice, text, or data.
(2) "Tort action" means a civil action for damages for
injury, death, or loss to person or property but does not include
a civil action for damages for breach of contract or another
agreement between persons.
Section 2. That existing sections 4510.01 and 4511.093 of the
Revised Code are hereby repealed.