130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 35  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
S. B. No. 35


Senator Tavares 



A BILL
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 offense.

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 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. 4511.093. (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 secondary offense.
(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 distribute information.
(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 following:
(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 this section.
(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 following:
(a) A wireless telephone;
(b) A text-messaging device;
(c) A personal digital assistant;
(d) A computer;
(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.
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