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Police find way to pull over texting drivers

According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is a factor in at least 10 percent of U.S. fatalities--roughly 3,200 deaths in 2014. (Image courtesy of MGN)

Under Ohio law, an officer can't pull you over for texting and driving. It's a secondary offense.

Officers say it's hard to prove someone was using their phone.

Now, the Toledo Police Department has come up with a new way to crack down on distracted driving.

It's called the operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property code. They'll cite that code when they see signs of distracted driving.

This makes texting while driving a primary offense that cops can and will pull you over for.

"Statistics tell us that if someone is texting and driving, they are 23 times more likely to get into a crash than if they weren't texting," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral. "That in itself makes texting a public safety concern. Texting can wait until you get where you're going. It's simply not worth putting your life and your safety and the safety and lives of others at risk."

Sylvania Township, Lucas County Sheriff's Office, Whitehouse, Waterville, Highway Patrol and University of Toledo Police are all taking part. They're being asked to aggressively pursue distracted driving.

The violation is considered a minor misdemeanor and could add four points against your license.

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