Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ban On Texting While Driving: What You Need To Know About Ohio’s Law

By: Mayfield-Hillcrest Patch

Original Source: Ban On Texting While Driving: What You Need To Know About Ohio’s Law

Drivers caught texting will now face fines and license suspensions.

A ban on texting while driving was established in August, prohibiting anyone in Ohio from sending or reading messages from behind the wheel. It took effect Friday.

The statewide measure takes things a step further for drivers under 18: They can’t talk on a cell phone at all, even with Bluetooth or other hands-free methods.

“I am confident that this one small step will have a great impact as we work toward safer roadways,” said State Sen. Tom Patton, R-24, who supported the legislation.

There’s a similar, if more strict law, in place in Beachwood. That law is the same for all drivers and prohibits any use of electronic devices except with hands-free or voice-acivated devices.

In Beachwood, you could be ticketed for holding a phone to your ear or picking it up at all while you’re behind the wheel.

Beachwood Police Chief Mark Sechrist said that he believes the state law is not clear enough and that the same restrictions on using electronic devices behind the wheel should apply to everyone.

No one will get ticketed under the Ohio law just yet. There’s a six-month grace period built into the law, and police will issue warnings until next March 1.

But “texting” doesn’t just mean thumbing in messages. It applies to reading, too — even checking your email.

“It is important to note that ‘texting’ includes writing, sending, and reading any text-based communication including instant messages and emails, as well as traditional mobile-to-mobile texts,” Patton said in a news release.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, here’s what the ban means:

If you’re under age 18:

It is illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio.

This means:

• No texting
• No e-mailing
• No talking on your cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, On-Star or any similar device
• No computers, laptops or tablets
• No playing video games
• No using your GPS (unless it’s a voice-operated or hands-free device that has been pre-programmed)

The ban stays in place even when you are sitting at a light or stuck in traffic.

It’s a Primary Offense: Law enforcement can stop you for any of the above reasons.

For first violations, the fine is $150 and the offender’s driver’s license is suspended for 60 days.

After that, fine is $300 and licenses are suspended for a year.

The only exceptions are for vehicles in a stationary position and outside a lane of travel; and emergency calls to law enforcement, hospital, fire department, etc.

Adult drivers (18 or older):

It is illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text while driving in Ohio.

It is a secondary offense, meaning adults cannot be pulled over for texting or reading their email while driving.

The offense is a minor misdemeanor, which carries a fine up to $150.

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The Trouble With GPS Devices On The Border


Original Source: The Trouble With GPS Devices On The Border

At this hour, Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers are making last-minute preparations for the first day of a venture that has never been embarked upon in Belizean history. They will attempt to clear the Belize/Guatemala border using machetes. Maheia says that BTV and he have made realistic contingency plans to ensure that they do not enter and infringe on Guatemalan territory by having the support of extensive maps, compasses, and GPS devices.

The GPS is one of the most high-tech instruments that they can use to track their location, but even this equipment has its limitations. Today, Ian Gillett, who is an experienced surveyor, and who has been studying GPS for years, explained to us just how it works, and what those limitations are:

Ian Gillett – GPS Expert
“GPS is basically a navigational system. It is system built by the US Defense System, it has 24 satellites that are in orbit and they circle the earth 2 times per day in 12`hour sequence. They operate basically with atomic clocks. What we go in the stores and buy are receivers. The average person can go and buy a handheld receiver. Just as with any other thing – the cheaper the receiver the less accurate it is. The more expensive the receiver the better accuracy you get from a receiver. For a GPS to function properly you need a fair view of the sky. GPS are used only outdoors. Limitations occur when you are in heavy forested area and when you are against tall buildings. Once you are against a tall building or a heavy forested area and you do not have a direct line of sight between the receivers that is in your hand or satellite then you have a decrease in accuracy or basically a limitation and then the accuracy is thrown out. The average accuracy of a handheld GPS is within 10-30 meters. Accuracy is something that is calculated versus a known position. You must know a point in order to determine how accurate you are in proximity to that location.”

Daniel Ortiz
“That known point – it has to be something that is already established?”

Ian Gillett – GPS Expert
“Right that position had to have been established, it had to have been observed and calculated and accepted and then you can then determine the accuracy of a GPS versus that known point.”

This evening, Wil Maheia spoke to 7News and told us that he will be accompanied by some very knowledgeable former security personnel and land surveyors who are highly experienced in the country’s maps and terrain. He also told us that tomorrow’s location is under clear skies, and in the sight of at least 10 of those global positioning satellites which Gillett spoke about in the interview. We hope to ask him tomorrow in person about his plan for those places along the border where there are thick canopies, as described by the BDF Commander yesterday.

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