Toledo police issue dozens of tickets to distracted drivers

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo police have issued 35 tickets to distracted drivers since announcing a new plan in May.

On May 24, 2017, Toledo Police and other law enforcement agencies announced a plan to pull distracted drivers over and fine them. The plan is based on an Ohio law that is separate from statute 4511.204, TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.

The other law, 4511.20 OPERATION IN WILLFUL OR WANTON DISREGARD OF THE SAFETY OF PERSONS OR PROPERTY, is a primary offense.

The law for texting while driving is a secondary infraction, which means officers are unable to pull you over for that reason.

"Let someone look me in the eye and tell me that keeping your head down, driving 100 yards without looking out of the windshield is not driving with willful disregard for the safety of others," said Chief George Kral of the Toledo Police.

Other agencies, including the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Sylvania Township Police, Waterville Police, Whitehouse Police and University of Toledo Police, will also be employing the same approach.

Chief Kral says as far as he knows, the Toledo Area will be the first in the state to apply the primary offense law to cell phones.