Using a cell phone in a school or construction zone may soon be illegal in Ohio.

A bill introduced by Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, would prohibit the use of any electronic wireless device when in a construction zone during actual work hours.

It would also make it illegal to use such devices in a school zone during hours when children are present — and that includes when they are at recess, not just during opening and closing times.

House Bill 637 also makes the illegal use of cell phones for texting – writing, sending and reading – a primary offense for adults. Currently, drivers 18 years and older can only be cited for such infractions if it’s in conjunction with another traffic violation.

Why does Ohio need another bill?

According to an August article in the Columbus Dispatch and research in the American Journal of Public Health, Ohio’s current law isn’t effective. The State Highway Patrol had only written 440 tickets for texting and driving since the ban took effect in March 2013.

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