General Traffic Rules

Speed Limits: State routes, county roads and township roads outside municipal corporations - 55 M.P.H. unless a lower speed limit is established.  School zones - 20 M.P.H.  There is no state law requiring warning signs or speed limit signs unless a lower speed limit is established.

Speed Checking Devices: Mechanical, laser, vascar, radar and aerial used by Franklin County Sheriff Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Radar Detectors: Permitted except in commercial vehicles.

Child Restraints: Mandatory from birth to age 4 and 40 pounds including handicapped children. $100 fine, first offense; $200 fine, second offense. Fine non-waivable. Non-residents must comply if operating an Ohio registered vehicle.

Seat Belts: Mandatory for driver and front-seat passengers. Applies to out-of-state drivers and passengers. Fine of $15, passengers; $25, drivers for noncompliance.

Turn/Hand Signals: Left turn, arm horizontal; right turn, arm upward; stop or slow, arm downward. Signaling distance of 100 feet required. Bicyclist cannot use right hand to signal right turn.

School Buses: Color, yellow, National School Bus Chrome. Vehicles inside and outside municipalities must stop while school bus loading or unloading or red flashing signals are on. On 4-lane highways, need not stop if on other roadway.

No Passing Zone: Indicated by posted signs or solid yellow line in driver's lane. Crossing yellow line is prohibited.

Passing on the Right: Permitted when vehicle is making left turn or on roads with two or more lanes of traffic in each direction. May not leave roadway to pass.

Stops at Railroad Crossings: Required when signaled stop sign posted or when train is approaching. Law requires special vehicles to stop. Buses or motor trucks transporting employees, buses transporting passengers, school buses, vehicles transporting hazardous materials, required to stop.

Headlight Use: One-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, or when light conditions restrict visibility to 1,000 ft. or less. Rain, snow, fog or other adverse weather conditions. Driving with headlights on during all hours of the day is permitted.

Dimming of Headlights: Required when approaching vehicles within 1,000 feet or following vehicle within 1,000 feet.

Auxiliary Driving Lights: Two foglights permitted. A maximum of five lights, including headlights, may be lighted at one time.

Windshield Stickers: Nontransparent sticker permitted in lower right hand or left hand corner. Size not to exceed 4" high by 6" wide. VIN must be visible.

Parking on Highway: Prohibited.

Right Turn on Red: Permitted after complete stop unless otherwise posted.

Left Turn on Red: Permitted after a complete stop, from a one-way street to a one-way street, unless otherwise posted.

Studded Tires: Permitted, November 1 to April 15.

Towing Autos: Maximum length of towbar, chain, rope or cable - 15 feet. Reciprocity granted. When one vehicle is towing another and the connection consists only of a chain, rope, or cable, a white flag not less than 12 inches square shall be displayed upon the connection between the two vehicles. Brakes lights and turn signals must be connected between vehicles.

Glass Tinting: Application of vehicle glass darkening material must meet Director of Public Safety specifications. Reflectorized material prohibited.

Bumper Height: Maximum and minimum allowable height determined by gross vehicle weight rating.

Headsets: Wearing of radio headsets while operating a motor vehicle is illegal.

Barefoot Driving: Operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with bare feet is permitted, but not recommended.

Alcoholic Beverage Containers: Transporting an open alcoholic beverage container within a motor vehicle is illegal. Consuming an alcoholic beverage within a motor vehicle is illegal.

Emergency Radio: Citizen band radio channel nine (9) is in many areas for emergency calls.

Hazard Warning Lights: Use by passenger cars or light trucks while moving on the highway is permitted when a hazardous highway condition is present.

Left Lane Restriction: Left lanes on divided highways are restricted to passing maneuvers.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lane: Signs are displayed showing hours of use and minimum number of occupants.

Left Foot Braking: Using the left foot to engage the brake pedal in a motor vehicle is permitted but not recommended for normal driving.

Pickup Truck/Trailer Passengers: Riding in the back of an unenclosed cargo storage area of a truck or trailer traveling over 25 M.P.H. is illegal for persons under age 16. Illegal for everyone if tailgate is unlatched. Exemptions during emergencies and for maintenance/construction workers. Riding in travel trailer or non-self-propelled manufactured home is prohibited. Riding in pickup camper permitted.

Cellular Telephone: Use of a cellular telephone while driving is permitted. Emergency number 911 or *DUI.

Bicycles: Bicyclist must obey motor vehicle laws; must ride with traffic; helmet use not required.

Pedestrians: Pedestrian has right-of-way within crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at intersections.

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