It goes into effect in 90 days.
Ohio has become the 39th state to prohibit texting while driving.
Surrounded by families who lost loved ones in crashes caused by distracted drivers, Gov. John Kasich signed the ban on writing, reading and sending texts from behind the wheel. It goes into effect in 90 days.
"For those people that might think that this is some how an invasion of their rights or nanny state or whatever...come meet these families," he said.
The measure includes a stricter crackdown on teen drivers' use of electronic devices. Minors would be banned from using cell phones, iPads, or other electronics while driving.
"It's so hard to try and figure out how to do it right and not hit somebody...it's just really hard. Then when you have these devices in your hand it makes it even more difficult," Kasich said.
Texting would be a secondary offense for adult drivers. They could be ticketed for typing messages only if they were first pulled over for another offense, such as running a red light.
Kasich isn't worried about the law being enforced. He says it will only take a couple of examples of people being ticketed to let Ohioans know they're serious about stopping texting and driving.
Keith Homstead was on hand for the bill signing. He brought a picture of his son, Keith, Jr. who was killed while home on leave from the U.S. Air Force in 2010. Kasich held up the photo while signing the bill as an example of why the law was needed.
Homstead hopes the law makes people think twice before picking up their phone while behind the wheel. He doesn't want other families to go through the same thing he did. His son was his only child.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the measure would be among the broadest in the country in terms of teen distracted driving restrictions.