COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Beginning Tuesday if you are caught using a handheld device while driving, such as a cell phone, you can get pulled over as a primary offense.

The new rule comes 13 years after Tina Yanssens lost her father Dave Muslovski to an accident involving a distracted driver.

In 2012, she watched as then-Governor John Kasich signed the state’s first texting and driving law. Back then, it was a secondary offense, meaning an officer had to catch a motorist committing another violation in order to write the ticket. Now, it’s a primary offense and you can get pulled over for just that.

“It did start as a grassroots effort and it’s going to continue,” Yanssens said. “One of the problems with the first bill was it really tied the hands of law enforcement officers, so if we want them to be able to do their job, we have to give them the tools to do it.”

After Yanssens’ father died, she was afraid to take her cell phone with her in the car just to avoid the temptation of being distracted, but the incident opened her eyes to a much bigger problem.

“I started to see what was going on around me. I drive 680 every day and you start looking around and everyone is doing it,” Yansesens said.

Yanssens points to research that shows the new law will help reduce the number of crashes. But as technology keeps increasing, the goal of eliminating distractions behind the wheel won’t end there.

“Even talking on the phone is a distraction, but we have to focus our efforts where they’re going to have a maximum amount of good,” Yanssens said.