You Could Get Fined for Texting and Driving in Lakewood Starting Today

click to enlarge You Could Get Fined for Texting and Driving in Lakewood Starting Today
As of today, Lakewood police officers can pull drivers over and issue a citation for any cell phone use that takes hands off of the wheel and eyes off the road.

A new ordinance, passed by Lakewood City Council in September, makes cell phone use while driving a primary offense within Lakewood city limits. First offenders could be charged with a minor misdemeanor, and fines could be as costly as $150.

Cell phone use while driving is currently considered a secondary offense in Ohio, meaning a driver can't be pulled over and cited for texting alone.

“This is a really important step to make our community safer,” Lakewood Council President Sam O'Leary told News 5. "What we need in our society with respect to using a cell phone while driving, is a cultural shift the same way that we had to confront the dangers of drinking and driving.”

The new Lakewood law does offer up a couple exceptions, including the "one touch" rule — like when an Uber or Lyft driver needs to accept a fare or start a route on a navigation app.

Any other hands-free phone use, such as talking on speaker phone or using Siri, is allowed. And drivers are always allowed to use cell phones while a vehicle is parked.

North Royalton and Beachwood have already passed similar driving laws.

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