Ohio Traffic Laws – What You Should Know

Ohio Traffic Laws - What You Should Know

Want to avoid those annoying tickets?

Want to be the safest driver you can be?

Well, then you need to obey the Ohio traffic laws. 

But how can you do that if you don’t even know the laws?

That’s what we’re here for. 

Today, we’re going to look into:

  • Speed limits
  • Yielding laws
  • School bus laws
  • Parking laws
  • Insurance laws
  • Outside riding law
  • Move Over law

So let’s get started!

Ohio Speed Limits

Speed limits are set in certain areas due to how the road is designed, the common weather/climate conditions in the area, the typical traffic volume, etc…

These limits make sure that you are at a safe speed in these areas. 

To give you an idea, here are some common speed limits in Ohio:

  • 15 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for alleys within municipal corporations. 
  • 20 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for school zones when children are arriving for school, during recess, and dismissals.
  • 25 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for streets within municipal corporations.
  • 35 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for state routes and highways. This excludes highways that have controlled access within municipal corporations outside of business districts.
  • 50 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for state routes within municipal corporations outside urban districts.
  • 55 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for freeways with paved shoulders inside municipal corporations. 
  • 70 MPH SPEED LIMIT – Set speed limit for rural freeways.

Penalties: Speed limit violators will pay fines depending on how much they went over the speed limit. 

Check out the chart below.

Ohio Traffic Laws


What’s more, points will be added to your license.

Ohio Traffic Laws


Ohio Yielding Laws 

Yielding, often known as the “right-of-way”, refers to the priority of traffic flow. 

Here is when you must yield the right-of-way:

  • When you face a vehicle that has arrived at an intersection before you.
  • A vehicle in the opposite lane as you are making a left turn.
  • Vehicles on a public highway if you are entering from a private road or driveway.
  • The vehicle on your right at a four-way intersection if you both arrive at the same time.
  • There are pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers in the intersection.
  • Public safety vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances when they are flashing lights and blaring sirens. 

Penalties: Failure to yield is considered a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. If you are caught, you will need to pay a $150 fine, plus court and administrative fees. You will also receive 2 points on your license. 

Ohio School Bus Laws

Since school buses carry children, the State of Ohio implements laws to ensure their safety. 

Here is what you should know: 

  • If you see a school bus stopping to drop off or pick up students, you must stop behind it. 
  • If the school bus stops on a street or road that has fewer than four (4) lanes, all traffic approaching from either direction must stop at least ten (10) feet away from the front or rear of the bus. 

Drivers must remain stopped until the bus moves again or if the bus driver signals other motorists to proceed. 

  • If a bus has stopped on a street with four (4) or more lanes, only vehicles driving in the same direction must stop at the rear of the bus. These motorists must remain stopped until the bus moves again. 

Don’t worry – you won’t miss it when a school bus is about to stop. This is because the driver activates four amber/yellow warning lights, two at the front and two at the rear. 

If you see this, you can prepare to stop. 

Penalties: If you pass a stopped school bus, you will have to appear before the court, pay a fine of $500, and may have your license suspended for a year. 

If a school bus driver believes that a motorist unlawfully passed their stopped bus, they can report the license plate number to the law enforcement agency. The authorities will be the ones to determine the identity of the driver. 

Ohio Parking Laws 

Parking in certain areas can affect traffic flow. 

This is why, in Ohio, they make sure to implement parking laws. 

So take note that you CANNOT park:

  • Facing the opposite direction of traffic. 
  • More than 12 inches away from the right curb. 
  • In “No Parking” zones.
  • In handicapped spaces, unless you have a permit.
  • On sidewalks.
  • In front of a public or private driveway.
  • Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Within 20 feet of an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Within a foot of another parked vehicle.
  • Besides a vehicle that is stopped or parked at the edge of a curb or street.
  • Across a parked vehicle (double parking).

Penalties: Parking in these areas will be fined and, in the case of parking in a handicapped space without a permit, the vehicle will be towed and the plates revoked. 

Ohio Insurance Law

To protect drivers from crashes, you are required to have insurance. 

In Ohio, the minimum coverages are as follows:

  • $25,000 for injury/death of one person.
  • $50,000 for injury/death of two or more people. 
  • $25,000 for property damage in an accident. 

Of course, this is just the minimum. If you want, you can get higher coverages for more protection. 

Penalties: You might not think it, but the penalties for violating this law are very steep. For one, your license, plates, and vehicle registration will be temporarily revoked. You will need to pay $600 to reinstate these. You also need to pay a fine of $100 to $600.

Ohio Outside Riding Law

What is an outside riding law?

Well, as the law states — no person is allowed to hang onto or ride on the outside of any moving vehicle. 

More than that, no driver shall allow anyone under the age of 16 to ride in an unenclosed or unroofed cargo storage area of a truck, trailer, or semitrailer that is moving faster than 25mph, unless:

  • The cargo storage area is equipped with a properly secured seat and safety belt that meets the standards of occupant restraining devices. 
  • There is an emergency that threatens the life of the driver or the person being transported inside the cargo truck, trailer, or semitrailer.
  • The passengers are trained workers performing authorized highway or street maintenance/ construction. 

Penalties: Violators will be charged with a minor misdemeanor for the first violation, a 4th-degree misdemeanor for a second violation in the same year, and a 3rd-degree misdemeanor if there are 2 or more violations within the same year. 

Ohio Move Over Law

The Ohio Move Over Law requires all drivers to slow down and/or move to an adjacent lane when approaching a flashing public safety vehicle, whether stopped or moving

This includes police vehicles, emergency vehicles (such as ambulances and fire trucks), road service vehicles (such as tow trucks), waste collection vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles, or public utility commission vehicles.

Penalties: First-time violators of the Ohio Move Over law will receive a minor misdemeanor and about $300 in fines.

If you have been charged again within the same year, you will face a 4th-degree misdemeanor and about $500 in fines. 

If you have had 2 or more offenses within the same year, you will receive a 3rd-degree misdemeanor and about $1,000 in fines.

The Wrap Up

So those were the Ohio traffic laws that you needed to know about.

Some of the best ways to keep yourself safe from roadside accidents are by familiarizing and obeying the traffic laws set in place. 

Always keep these laws in mind and make sure to follow each one. 

Be a safe and responsible driver!

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