Speeding in Ohio – What is the Law?

A typical speed limit sign in the United State...

SPEEDING: What is the law?

  • The speed law is set forth at Ohio Revised Code 4511.21.  It states:(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

The law goes on to set forth the “speed limits” or presumed speed limits as follows:

  • (2) Twenty-five miles per hour in all other portions of a municipal corporation, except on state routes outside business districts, through highways outside business districts, and alleys;(3) Thirty-five miles per hour on all state routes or through highways within municipal corporations outside business districts, except as provided in divisions (B)(4) and (6) of this section;(4) Fifty miles per hour on controlled-access highways and expressways within municipal corporations;(5) Fifty-five miles per hour on highways outside of municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;(6) Fifty miles per hour on state routes within municipal corporations outside urban districts unless a lower prima-facie speed is established as further provided in this section;

    (7) Fifteen miles per hour on all alleys within the municipal corporation;

    (8) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on freeways with paved shoulders inside municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;

    (9) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on freeways outside municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;

    (10) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on all portions of freeways that are part of the interstate system and on all portions of freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system for operators of any motor vehicle weighing in excess of eight thousand pounds empty weight and any noncommercial bus;

    (11) Fifty-five miles per hour for operators of any motor vehicle weighing eight thousand pounds or less empty weight and any commercial bus at all times on all portions of freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, and freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, unless a higher speed limit is established under division (L) of this section;

    (12) Sixty-five miles per hour for operators of any motor vehicle weighing eight thousand pounds or less empty weight and any commercial bus at all times on all portions of the following:

    • (a) Freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, and freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995;(b) Freeways that are part of the interstate system and freeways that are not part of the interstate system but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system, and that had such a speed limit established under division (L) of this section(c) Rural, divided, multi-lane highways that are designated as part of the national highway system under the “National Highway System Designation Act of 1995,” 109 Stat. 568, 23 U.S.C.A. 103, and that had such a speed limit established under division (M) of this section.
  • (C) It is prima-facie unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in divisions (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), and (7) of this section, or any declared pursuant to this section by the director or local authorities and it is unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in division (D) of this section. No person shall be convicted of more than one violation of this section for the same conduct, although violations of more than one provision of this section may be charged in the alternative in a single affidavit.(D) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar upon a street or highway as follows:
    • (1) At a speed exceeding fifty-five miles per hour, except upon a freeway as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;(2) At a speed exceeding sixty-five miles per hour upon a freeway as provided in division (B)(12) of this section except as otherwise provided in division (D)(3) of this section;(3) If a motor vehicle weighing in excess of eight thousand pounds empty weight or a noncommercial bus as prescribed in division (B)(10) of this section, at a speed exceeding fifty-five miles per hour upon a freeway as provided in that division;(4) At a speed exceeding the posted speed limit upon a freeway for which the director has determined and declared a speed limit of not more than sixty-five miles per hour pursuant to division (L)(2) or (M) of this section;(5) At a speed exceeding sixty-five miles per hour upon a freeway for which such a speed limit has been established through the operation of division (L)(3) of this section;

      (6) At a speed exceeding the posted speed limit upon a freeway for which the director has determined and declared a speed limit pursuant to division (I)(2) of this section.

  • (E) In every charge of violation of this section the affidavit and warrant shall specify the time, place, and speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven, and in charges made in reliance upon division (C) of this section also the speed which division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section declares is prima-facie lawful at the time and place of such alleged violation, except that in affidavits where a person is alleged to have driven at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead the affidavit and warrant need not specify the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven.(F) When a speed in excess of both a prima-facie limitation and a limitation in division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section is alleged, the defendant shall be charged in a single affidavit, alleging a single act, with a violation indicated of both division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of this section, or of a limit declared pursuant to this section by the director or local authorities, and of the limitation in division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section. If the court finds a violation of division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section has occurred, it shall enter a judgment of conviction under such division and dismiss the charge under division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section. If it finds no violation of division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section, it shall then consider whether the evidence supports a conviction under division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section.(G) Points shall be assessed for violation of a limitation under division (D) of this section in accordance with section 4510.036 of the Revised Code.