Part 3 Traffic Code - Title 5 Vehicles

  1. Chapter 331 Operation Generally
  2. Chapter 333 OVI; Wilful Misconduct; Speed
  3. Chapter 335 Licensing; Accidents
  4. Chapter 337 Safety and Equipment
  5. Chapter 339 Commercial and Heavy Vehicles
  6. Chapter 341 Commercial Drivers

Chapter 331 Operation generally

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Section 331.01 Driving Upon Right of Roadway; Exceptions

  1. Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
    1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, or when making a left turn under the rules governing such movements;
    2. When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;
    3. When driving upon a roadway divided into three or more marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon;
    4. When driving upon a roadway designated and posted with signs for one-way traffic;
    5. When otherwise directed by a police officer or traffic control device.
  2.  
    1. Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the prevailing and lawful speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, and far enough to the right to allow passing by faster vehicles if such passing is safe and reasonable, except under any of the following circumstances:
      1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
      2. When preparing for a left turn;
      3. When the driver must necessarily drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on the driver’s intended route.
    2. Nothing in subsection (b)(1) of this section requires a driver of a slower vehicle to compromise the driver’s safety to allow overtaking by a faster vehicle.
  3. Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic control devices designating certain lanes to the left of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use the lanes, or except as permitted under subsection (a) (2) hereof. This subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making a left turn into or from an alley, private road or driveway.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.25)

Section 331.02 Passing to Right When Proceeding in Opposite Directions

  1. Operators of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction, each operator shall give to the other one-half of the main traveled portion of the roadway or as nearly one-half as is reasonably possible.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.26)

Section 331.03 Overtaking, Passing to Left; Driver’s Duties

  1. The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction:
    1. The operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall, except as provided in subsection (a)(3) hereof, signal to the vehicle to be overtaken, shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.  When a motor vehicle overtakes and passes a bicycle or electric bicycle, three feet or greater is considered a safe passing distance.
    2. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the operator of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle at the latter's audible signal, and the operator shall not increase the speed of the operator’s vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
    3. The operator of a vehicle overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction on a divided street or highway as defined in Section 331.31, a limited access highway as defined in Ohio R.C. 5511.02 or a highway with four or more traffic lanes, is not required to signal audibly to the vehicle being overtaken and passed.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.27)

Section 331.04 Overtaking and Passing Upon Right

  1. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
    1. When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
    2. Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.
  2. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle only under conditions permitting such movement in safety.  The movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.28)

Section 331.05 Overtaking, Passing to Left of Center

  1. No vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made, without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic approaching from the opposite direction or any traffic overtaken.  In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for traffic approaching from the opposite direction before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.29)

Section 331.06 Additional Restrictions on Driving Upon Left Side of Roadway

  1. No vehicle shall be driven upon the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:
    1. When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway, where the operator's view is obstructed within such a distance as to create a hazard in the event traffic might approach from the opposite direction;
    2. When the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel;
    3. When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing.
  2. This section does not apply to vehicles upon a one-way roadway, upon a roadway where traffic is lawfully directed to be driven to the left side or under the conditions described in Section 331.01(a)(2).
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.30)

Section 331.07 Hazardous or No Passing Zones

  1. Hazardous zones, commonly called "no passing zones," shall consist of an auxiliary yellow line marked on the roadway pavement and placed parallel to the normal center line or marked lane line.  When the auxiliary yellow line appears on the left side in the driver's lane of travel and to the right of the normal center line or marked lane line, no driver shall drive across the auxiliary yellow line to overtake and pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.  When auxiliary yellow lines appear on both sides of the normal center line or marked lane line, drivers proceeding in either direction shall not drive across such auxiliary yellow lines to overtake and pass another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.  No driver shall, at any other time, drive across the yellow auxiliary line when it appears in the driver's lane of travel, except to make a lawfully permitted left-hand turn under the rules governing such movement.  No passing signs may also be erected facing traffic to indicate the beginning and end of each no passing zone. When appropriate signs or markings indicating hazardous or no passing zones are in place and clearly visible, every operator of a vehicle shall obey the directions of the signs or markings, notwithstanding the distance set out in Section 331.06.
  2. Subsection (a) of this section does not apply when all of the following apply:
    1. The slower vehicle is proceeding at less than half the speed of the speed limit applicable to that location.
    2. The faster vehicle is capable of overtaking and passing the slower vehicle without exceeding the speed limit.
    3. There is sufficient clear sight distance to the left of the center or center line of the roadway to meet the overtaking and passing provisions of Section 331.05, considering the speed of the slower vehicle.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.31)

Section 331.08 Driving in Marked Lanes or Continuous Lines of Traffic

  1. Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic or wherever traffic is lawfully moving in two or more substantially continuous lines in the same direction, the following rules apply:
    1. A vehicle shall be driven, as nearly as is practicable, entirely within a single lane or line of traffic and shall not be moved from such lane or line until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
    2. Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or when preparing for a left turn, or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is posted with signs to give notice of such allocation.
    3. Official signs may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, or restricting the use of a particular lane to only buses during certain hours or during all hours, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of such signs.
    4. Official traffic control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.33)

Section 331.09 Following Too Closely

  1. The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway. The driver of any truck, or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle, when traveling upon a roadway outside a business or residence district shall maintain a sufficient space, whenever conditions permit, between such vehicle and another vehicle ahead so an overtaking motor vehicle may enter and occupy such space without danger.  This paragraph does not prevent overtaking and passing nor does it apply to any lane specially designated for use by trucks. Motor vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade, shall maintain a sufficient space between such vehicles so an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy such space without danger.  This paragraph shall not apply to funeral processions.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.34)

Section 331.10 Turning at Intersections

  1. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall be governed by the following rules:
    1. Approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
    2. At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered.  Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
    3. At any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle, and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane of the roadway being entered lawfully available to the traffic moving in that lane.
    4. Markers, buttons or signs may be placed within or adjacent to intersections and thereby require and direct that a different course from that specified in this section be traveled by vehicles turning at an intersection, and when such markers, buttons or signs are so placed, no operator of a vehicle shall turn such vehicle at an intersection other than as directed and required by such markers, buttons or signs.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.36)

Section 331.11 Turning into Private Driveways, Alley, or Building

  1. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn into a private road or driveway, alley or building from a public street or highway shall be governed by the following rules:
    1. Approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
    2. Upon a roadway where traffic is proceeding in opposite directions, approach for a left turn and a left turn shall be made from that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof.
    3. Upon a roadway where traffic is restricted to one direction, approach for a left turn and a left turn shall be made as close as practicable to the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway. 
      • It shall be the duty of the driver of any vehicle entering a private road or driveway, alley or building to yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully using the sidewalk or sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, private road, driveway or building.
  2. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Section 331.12 “U” Turns Restricted

  1. Except as provided in Section 313.03 and subsection (b) hereof, no vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, if the vehicle cannot be seen within 500 feet by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction.
  2. The driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, may turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction.  This subsection applies only when the emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle is responding to an emergency call, is equipped with and displaying at least one flashing, rotating or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle, and when the driver of the vehicle is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle or bell.  This subsection does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the highway. (ORC 4511.37)
  3. Except as provided in subsection (b) hereof, no vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction within an intersection, or upon any street in a business district, or upon a freeway, expressway or controlled-access highway, or where authorized signs are erected to prohibit such movement, or at any other location unless such movement can be made with reasonable safety to other users of the street and without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic that may be affected by such movement.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.37)

Section 331.13 Starting and Backing Vehicles

  1. No person shall start a vehicle which is stopped, standing or parked until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. Before backing, operators of vehicles shall give ample warning, and while backing they shall exercise vigilance not to injure person or property on the street or highway. No person shall back a motor vehicle on a freeway, except:  in a rest area; in the performance of public works or official duties; as a result of an emergency caused by an accident or breakdown of a motor vehicle.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.38)

Section 331.14 Signals Before Changing Course, Turning, or Stopping

  1. No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such person has exercised due care to ascertain that the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided. When required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning, except that in the case of a person operating a bicycle or electric bicycle, the signal shall be made not less than one time but is not required to be continuous.  A bicycle or electric bicycle operator is not required to make a signal if the bicycle or electric bicycle is in a designated turn lane, and a signal shall not be given when the operator’s hands are needed for the safe operation of the bicycle or electric bicycle. No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give a signal. Any stop or turn signal required by this section shall be given either by means of the hand and arm, or by signal lights that clearly indicate to both approaching and following traffic intention to turn or move right or left, except that any motor vehicle in use on a highway shall be equipped with, and the required signal shall be given by, signal lights when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab or load of such motor vehicle exceeds twenty-four inches, or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load thereof exceeds fourteen feet, whether a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles.The signal lights required by this section shall not be flashed on one side only on a disabled vehicle, flashed as a courtesy or "do pass" signal to operators of other vehicles approaching from the rear, nor be flashed on one side only of a parked vehicle except as may be necessary for compliance with this section.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.39)

Section 331.15 Hand and Arm Signals

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b) hereof, all signals required by this Traffic Code, when given by hand and arm shall be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner, and such signals shall indicate as follows:
    1. Left turn:  Hand and arm extended horizontally;
    2. Right turn:  Hand and arm extended upward;
    3. Stop or decrease speed:  Hand and arm extended downward.
  2. As an alternative to subsection (a)(2) hereof, a person operating a bicycle or electric bicycle may give a right turn signal by extending the right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle or electric bicycle.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.40)

Section 331.16 Right of Way at Intersections

  1. When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different streets or highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
  2. The right of way rule declared in subsection (a) hereof, is modified at through highways and otherwise as stated in this Traffic Code and Ohio R.C. Chapter 4511. (ORC 4511.41)
  3. Subject to compliance with any traffic control device, when two vehicles approach or enter a junction of two or more alleys from different directions at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.41)

Section 331.17 Right of Way When Turning Left

  1. The operator of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction, whenever the approaching vehicle is within the intersection or so close to the intersection, alley, private road or driveway as to constitute an immediate hazard.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.42)

Section 331.18 Operation of Vehicles at Yield Signs

  1. The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it.  After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.  Whenever a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be prima-facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield the right of way.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.43(B))

Section 331.19 Operation of Vehicles at Stop Signs

  1. Except when directed to proceed by a law enforcement officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it.  After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.43(A))

Section 331.20 Emergency or Public Safety Vehicles at Stop Signals or Signs

  1. The driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign shall slow down as necessary for safety to traffic, but may proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.03)

Section 331.21 Right of Way of Public Safety or Coroner’s Vehicle

  1. Upon the approach of a public safety vehicle or coroner’s vehicle, equipped with at least one flashing, rotating or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle and the driver is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle or bell, no driver of any other vehicle shall fail to yield the right-of-way, immediately drive if practical to a position parallel to and as close as possible to, the right edge or curb of the street clear of any intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the public safety vehicle or coroner’s vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.
  2. This section does not relieve the driver of a public safety vehicle or coroner’s vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property upon the street.
  3. This section applies to a coroner’s vehicle only when the vehicle is operated in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4513.171.  As used in this section, “coroner’s vehicle” means a vehicle used by a coroner, deputy coroner or coroner’s investigator that is equipped with a flashing, oscillating or rotating red or blue light and a siren, exhaust whistle, or bell capable of giving an audible signal.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection or Section 331.211, whoever violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense.  On a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree, and, on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.  

(ORC 4511.45)

Section 331.22 Report of Vehicle Failing to Yield Right of Way to Public Safety Vehicle

  1. When the failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield the right-of-way to a public safety vehicle as required by Section 331.21(a) impedes the ability of the public safety vehicle to respond to an emergency, any emergency personnel in the public safety vehicle may report the license plate number and a general description of the vehicle and the operator of the vehicle to the law enforcement agency exercising jurisdiction over the area where the alleged violation occurred.
  2.  
    1. Upon receipt of a report under subsection (a) of this section, the law enforcement agency may conduct an investigation to attempt to determine or confirm the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.
    2. If the identity of the operator at the time of an alleged violation of Section 331.21(a) is established, the law enforcement agency has probable cause to issue either a written warning or a citation for that violation, and the agency shall issue a written warning or a citation to the operator.
    3. If the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation cannot be established, the law enforcement agency may issue a warning to the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.  However, in the case of a leased or rented vehicle, the law enforcement agency shall issue the written warning to the person who leased or rented the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.

    1. Whoever violates Section 331.21(a) based on a report filed under subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).
    2. If a person who is issued a citation for a violation of Section 331.21(a) based on a report filed under subsection (a) of this section does not enter a written plea of guilty and does not waive the person’s right to contest the citation but instead appears in person in the proper court to answer the charge, the trier of fact cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed that violation unless the emergency personnel who filed the report appears in person in the court and testifies.
  3. As used in this section:
    1. “License plate” includes any temporary license placard issued under Ohio R.C. 4503.182 or similar law of another jurisdiction.
    2. “Public safety vehicle” does not include an unmarked public safety vehicle or a vehicle used by a public law enforcement officer or other person sworn to enforce the criminal and traffic laws of the State or a vehicle used by the Motor Carrier Enforcement Unit for the enforcement of orders and rules of the Public Utilities Commission.  

(ORC 4511.454)

Section 331.23 Driving onto Roadway from Place Other Than Roadway; Duty to Yield

  1. Subject to compliance with any traffic control device, the operator of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from an alley or from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right of way to all traffic approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.44)

Section 331.24 Driving onto Roadway from Place Other Than Roadway; Stopping at Sidewalk

  1. Subject to compliance with any traffic control device, the driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.431)

Section 331.25 Right of Funeral Procession

  1. As used in this section "funeral procession" means two or more vehicles accompanying the cremated remains or the body of a deceased person in the daytime when each of the vehicles has its headlights lighted and is displaying a purple and white or an orange and white pennant attached to each vehicle in such a manner as to be clearly visible to traffic approaching from any direction.
  2. Excepting public safety vehicles proceeding in accordance with Section 331.21 or when directed otherwise by a police officer, pedestrians and the operators of all vehicles shall yield the right of way to each vehicle that is a part of a funeral procession.  Whenever the lead vehicle in a funeral procession lawfully enters an intersection, the remainder of the vehicles in the procession may continue to follow the lead vehicle through the intersection notwithstanding any traffic control devices or right-of-way provisions of this Traffic Code, provided that the operator of each vehicle exercises due care to avoid colliding with any other vehicle or pedestrian.
  3. No person shall operate any vehicle as a part of a funeral procession without having the headlights of the vehicle lighted and without displaying a purple and white or an orange and white pennant in such a manner as to be clearly visible to traffic approaching from any direction.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code. (ORC 4511.451)

Section 331.26 Driver’s View and Control to be Unobstructed by Load or Persons

  1. No person shall drive a vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons, as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or to interfere with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
  2. No passenger in a vehicle shall ride in such position as to interfere with the driver's view ahead or to the sides, or to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(ORC 4511.70(A),(B),(D))

Section 331.27 Driving Upon Street Posted as Closed for Repair

  1. No person shall drive upon, along or across a street or highway, or any part of a street or highway that has been closed in the process of its construction, reconstruction or repair, and posted with appropriate signs by the authority having jurisdiction to close such street or highway.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.71)

Section 331.28 Following and Parking Near Emergency or Safety Vehicles

  1. The driver of any vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle on official business, shall not follow any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle traveling in response to an alarm closer than 500 feet, or drive into or park such vehicle within the block where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm, unless directed to do so by a police officer or a firefighter.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.72)

Section 331.29 Driving Over Fire Hose

  1. No vehicle shall, without the consent of the Fire Chief or fire official in command, be driven over any unprotected fire hose that is laid down on any street or private driveway to be used at any fire or alarm of fire.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.73)

Section 331.30 Driving Through Safety Zone

  1. No vehicle shall at any time be driven through or within a safety zone.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.60)

Section 331.31 One-way Streets and Rotary Traffic Islands

  1. Upon a roadway designated and posted with signs for one-way traffic a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated.  A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of the rotary traffic island.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.32)

Section 331.32 Driving Upon Divided Roadways

  1. Whenever any street has been divided into two roadways by an intervening space, or by a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway, and no vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing space, barrier or median section, except through an opening, crossover or intersection established by public authority.  This section does not prohibit the occupancy of such dividing space, barrier or median section for the purpose of an emergency stop or in compliance with an order of a police officer.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.35)

Section 331.33 Entering and Exiting Controlled-Access Highway

  1. No person shall drive a vehicle onto or from any controlled-access highway except at such entrances and exits as are established by public authority.
  2. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Section 331.34 Obstructing Intersections, Crosswalk or Grade Crossing

  1. No driver shall enter an intersection or marked crosswalk or drive onto any railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk or grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle the driver is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians or railroad trains, notwithstanding any traffic control signal indication to proceed.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.712)

Section 331.35 Failure to Control; Weaving; Full Time and Attention

  1. No person shall operate a vehicle without exercising reasonable and ordinary control over such vehicle.
  2. No person shall operate a vehicle in a weaving or zigzag course unless such irregular course is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
  3. No person shall operate a vehicle without giving his full time and attention to the operation of such vehicle.
  4. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Section 331.36 Occupying a Moving Trailer or Manufactured or Mobile Home

  1. No person shall occupy any travel trailer or manufactured or mobile home while it is being used as a conveyance upon a street or highway.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(ORC 4511.701)

Section 331.37 Squealing Tires, “Peeling,” Cracking Exhaust Noises

  1. No person shall unnecessarily race the motor of any vehicle and no person shall operate any motor vehicle, except in an emergency, in such a manner that the vehicle is so rapidly accelerated or started from a stopped position that the exhaust system emits a loud, cracking or chattering noise unusual to its normal operation, or whereby the tires of such vehicle squeal or leave tire marks on the roadway, commonly called "peeling".
  2. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Section 331.38 Driving Upon Sidewalks, Street Lawns, or Curbs

  1. No person shall drive any vehicle, other than a bicycle or an electric bicycle if the motor is not engaged, upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway. (ORC 4511.711)
  2. No person shall drive a vehicle on a street lawn area or the curb of a street, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway or when otherwise lawfully authorized.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.99 of the Traffic Code.

(ORC 4511.711)

Section 331.39 Stopping for School Bus; Discarging Children

  1. The driver of a vehicle upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency, shall stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed. It is no defense to a charge under this subsection (a) hereof that the school bus involved failed to display or be equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign as required by subsection (b) hereof.
  2. Every school bus shall be equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of Ohio R.C. 4511.771, and an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the State Board of Education, which shall be actuated by the driver of the bus whenever but only whenever the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies.  A school bus driver shall not actuate the visual signals or the stop warning sign in designated school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off the roadway or at school buildings when children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities are loading or unloading at curbside or at buildings when children attending programs offered by head start agencies are boarding or unloading at curbside.  The visual signals and stop warning sign shall be synchronized or otherwise operated as required by rule of the Board.
  3. Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities, or children attending programs offered by head start agencies.  The driver of any vehicle overtaking the school bus shall comply with subsection (a) hereof.
  4. School buses operating on divided highways or on highways with four or more traffic lanes shall receive and discharge all school children, persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities, and children attending programs offered by head start agencies  on their residence side of the highway.
  5. No school bus driver shall start the driver’s bus until after any child, person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and County boards of developmental disabilities, or child attending a program offered by a head start agency who may have alighted therefrom has reached a place of safety on the child or person’s residence side of the road.
  6. As used in this section:
    1. “Head start agency” has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 3301.32.
    2. “School bus”, as used in relation to children who attend a program offered by a head start agency, means a bus that is owned and operated by a head start agency, is equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the State Board of Education, is painted the color and displays the markings described in Ohio R.C. 4511.77, and is equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of Ohio R.C. 4511.771, irrespective of whether or not the bus has fifteen or more children aboard at any time.  “School bus” does not include a van owned and operated by a head start agency, irrespective of its color, lights, or markings.

    1. Whoever violates subsection (a) of this section may be fined an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).  A person who is issued a citation for a violation of subsection (a) of this section is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive the person’s right to contest the citation in a trial but instead must appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge.
    2. In addition to and independent of any other penalty provided by law, the court or mayor may impose upon an offender who violates this section a class seven suspension of the offender’s driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in division (a)(7) of Ohio R.C. 4510.02.  When a license is suspended under this section, the court or mayor shall cause the offender to deliver the license to the court, and the court or clerk of the court immediately shall forward the license to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, together with notice of the court’s action.

(ORC 4511.75)

Section 331.40 Failure-to-Stop for School Bus Violations; Procedures

  1. As used in this section, "license plate" includes, but is not limited to, any temporary license placard issued under Ohio R.C. 4503.182 or similar law of another jurisdiction.
  2. When the operator of a school bus believes that a motorist has violated Ohio R.C. 4511.75(A) or Section 331.38(a) or this Traffic Code, the operator shall report the license plate number and a general description of the vehicle and of the operator of the vehicle to the law enforcement agency exercising jurisdiction over the area where the alleged violation occurred.  The information contained in the report relating to the license plate number and to the general description of the vehicle and the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation may be supplied by any person with first-hand knowledge of the information.  Information of which the operator of the school bus has first-hand knowledge also may be corroborated by any other person.
  3. Upon receipt of the report of the alleged violation of O.R.C. 4511.75(A) or Section 331.38(a) or this Traffic Code, the law enforcement agency shall conduct an investigation to attempt to determine or confirm the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.  If the identity of the operator at the time of the alleged violation is established, the reporting of the license plate number of the vehicle shall establish probable cause for the law enforcement agency to issue a citation for the violation of Section 331.38(a).  However, if the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation cannot be established, the law enforcement agency shall issue a warning to the owner of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, except in the case of a leased or rented vehicle when the warning shall be issued to the lessee at the time of the alleged violation.  

(ORC 4511.751)

Section 331.41 Driving Across Grade Crossing

  1.  
    1. Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade  crossing, the person shall stop within fifty feet, but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of the railroad, if any of the following circumstances exist at the crossing:
      1. A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a train.
      2. A crossing gate is lowered.
      3. A flagperson gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a train.
      4. There is insufficient space on the other side of the railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle the person is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians, or railroad trains, notwithstanding any traffic control signal indication to proceed.
      5. An approaching train is emitting an audible signal or is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing.
      6. There is insufficient undercarriage clearance to safely negotiate the crossing.
    2. A person who is driving a vehicle and who approaches a railroad grade crossing shall not proceed as long as any of the circumstances described in divisions (a)(1)A. to F. of this section exist at the crossing.
  2. No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed unless the person is signaled by a law enforcement officer or flag person that it is permissible to do so.
  3. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(ORC 4511.62)

Section 331.42 Stopping at Grade Crossing

  1.  
    1. Except as provided in subsection (a)(2) hereof, the operator of any bus, any school vehicle, or any vehicle transporting material required to be placarded under 49 CFR Parts 100-185, before crossing at grade any track of a railroad, shall stop the vehicle, and, while so stopped, shall listen through an open door or open window and look in both directions along the track for any approaching train, and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and shall proceed only upon exercising due care after stopping, looking and listening as required by this section.  Upon proceeding, the operator of such a vehicle shall cross only in a gear that will ensure there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing the crossing and shall not shift gears while crossing the tracks.
    2. This section does not apply at grade crossings when the Ohio Public Utilities Commission has authorized and approved an exempt crossing as provided in this subsection.
      1. Any local authority may file an application with the Commission requesting the approval of an exempt crossing.  Upon receipt of such a request, the Commission shall authorize a limited period for the filing of comments by any party regarding the application and then shall conduct a public hearing in the community seeking the exempt crossing designation.  The Commission shall provide appropriate prior public notice of the comment period and the public hearing.  By registered mail, the Commission shall notify each railroad operating over the crossing of the comment period.
      2. After considering any comments or other information received, the Commission may approve or reject the application.  By order, the Commission may establish conditions for the exempt crossing designation, including compliance with division (b) of 49 C.F.R. Part 392.10, when applicable.  An exempt crossing designation becomes effective only when appropriate signs giving notice of the exempt designation are erected at the crossing as ordered by the Commission and any other conditions ordered by the Commission are satisfied.
      3. By order, the Commission may rescind any exempt crossing designation made under this section if the Commission finds that a condition at the exempt crossing has changed to such an extent that the continuation of the exempt crossing designation compromises public safety.  The Commission may conduct a public hearing to investigate and determine whether to rescind the exempt crossing designation.  If the Commission rescinds the designation, it shall order the removal of any exempt crossing signs and may make any other necessary order.
    3. As used in this section:
      1. “School vehicle” means any vehicle used for the transportation of pupils to and from a school or school-related function if the vehicle is owned or operated by, or operated under contract with, a public or nonpublic school.
      2. “Bus” means any vehicle originally designed by its manufacturer to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver, or carries sixteen or more passengers, including the driver.
      3. “Exempt crossing” means a highway rail grade crossing authorized and approved by the Public Utilities Commission under subsection (a)(2) hereof at which vehicles may cross without making the stop otherwise required by this section.
    4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (a)(4), whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one or more violations of subsection (a) hereof or Ohio R.C. 4511.76, 4511.761, 4511.762, 4511.764, 4511.77 or 4511.79, or a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any of those sections, whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. (ORC 4511.63) 
  2.  
    1. When authorized stop signs are erected at railroad grade crossings, the operator of any vehicle shall stop within fifty but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail of the railroad tracks and shall exercise due care before proceeding across such grade crossing.
    2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this subsection (b)(1) hereof is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under Section 303.991 of the Traffic Code.  

(ORC 4511.61)

Section 331.43 Shortcutting; Avoiding Traffic Control Devices

  1. No person shall operate a vehicle across public or private property marked with signs "No Through Traffic" or words of similar import for the purpose of passing from one roadway to another.
  2. No person shall operate a vehicle across public or private property for the purpose of avoiding compliance with a traffic control device.
  3. It shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of this section for the operator of a vehicle to cross public or private property as provided herein without using the service of such property, stopping the engine or both.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Section 331.44 Littering from Motor Vehicle

  1. No operator or occupant of a motor vehicle shall, regardless of intent, throw, drop, discard or deposit litter from any motor vehicle in operation upon any street, road or highway, except into a litter receptacle in a manner that prevents its being carried away or deposited by the elements.
  2. No operator of a motor vehicle in operation upon any street, road or highway shall allow litter to be thrown, dropped, discarded or deposited from the motor vehicle, except into a litter receptacle in a manner that prevents its being carried away or deposited by the elements.
  3. As used in this section, "litter" means garbage, trash, waste, rubbish, ashes, cans, bottles, wire, paper, cartons, boxes, automobile parts, furniture, glass or anything else of an unsightly or unsanitary nature.
  4. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(ORC 4511.82)

Section 331.45 Wearing Earplugs or Earphones Prohibited

  1. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while wearing earphones over, or earplugs in, both ears.  
  2. This section does not apply to:
    1. Any person wearing a hearing aid;
    2. Law enforcement personnel while on duty;
    3. Fire personnel and emergency medical service personnel while on duty;
    4. Any person engaged in the operation of equipment for use in the maintenance or repair of any street or highway; or
    5. Any person engaged in the operation of refuse collection equipment.
    6. Any person wearing earphones or earplugs for hearing protection while operating a motorcycle.
  3. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.  If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
  4. As used in this section:
    1. "earphones" means any device that covers all or a portion of both ears and that does either of the following:
      1. Through either a physical connection to another device or a wireless connection, provides the listener with radio programs, music, or other information ;
      2. Provides hearing protection. "Earphones" does not include speakers or other listening devices that are built into protective headgear.
  5. "Earplugs" means any device that can be inserted into one or both ears and that does either of the following:
    1. Through either a physical connection to another device or a wireless connection, provides the listener with radio programs, music, or other information;
    2. Provides hearing protection.

(ORC 4511.84)

Section 331.46 Vehicular Operation on Street Closed Due to Rise in Water Level

  1. No person shall operate a vehicle on or onto a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or an overflow of water, and that is clearly marked by a sign that specifies that the road is closed due to the rise in water level and that any person who uses the closed portion of the road may be fined up to two thousand dollars ($2,000).
  2. A person who is issued a citation for a violation of subsection (a) hereof is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive the person’s right to contest the citation in court, but instead must appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge.
  3.  
    1. Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
    2. In addition to the financial sanctions authorized or required under Section 501.99 and to any costs otherwise authorized or required under any provision of law, the court imposing the sentence upon an offender who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (a) hereof shall order the offender to reimburse one or more rescuers for the cost any such rescuer incurred in rescuing the person, excluding any cost of transporting the rescued person to a hospital or other facility for treatment of injuries, up to a cumulative maximum of two thousand dollars ($2,000).  If more than one rescuer was involved in the emergency response, the court shall allocate the reimbursement proportionately, according to the cost each rescuer incurred.  A financial sanction imposed under this section is a judgment in favor of the rescuer and, subject to a determination of indigency under division (B) of Ohio R.C. 2929.28, a rescuer may collect the financial sanction in the same manner as provided in Ohio R.C. 2929.28.
  4. As used in this section:
    1. “Emergency medical service organization”, “firefighting agency” and “private fire company” have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 9.60.
    2. “Rescuer” means a state agency, political subdivision, firefighting service, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization.

(ORC 4511.714.)