DeWine signs new bill that makes holding cell phone while driving an offense

Jack McLaughlin

In case Ohio drivers hadn’t already put down the phone while behind the wheel, now they have to do so by law.

This morning, Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 288 into law.

The new legislation makes it an offense to be texting or even holding a cellphone while driving.


There are expectations to the new law, making the use of a cell phone permissible if drivers are stopped at a red light, using a speakerphone function without physically holding the phone, or if they are holding a phone to their ear for a call without texting or typing.

“No one will ever know whose lives were saved, but we know with a signature on this bill today that many families will be spared the horror and tragedy of having a call, a visit from the highway patrol or the police to tell them that their child, their mom, their dad, their spouse is dead,” DeWine said at a press conference this morning. 

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