Category: Ohio Traffic Law

cleveland plain dealer file photo speed camera

Springfield Red Light Camera Program Restrictions Upheld

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Springfield was trying to defy the (relatively) minor rules placed on their use of automated ticketing machines. On Friday, the Second District Court of Appeals ruled that it was entirely constitutional for the legislature require police presence where photo ticketing devices are in use (view ruling). Springfield refused to make any changes at all in the way their private vendors operated. They filed suit to block enforcement, objecting to the new law's requirement that a safety study justify the use of a camera and the prohibition on ticketing vehicles allegedly traveling 5 MPH or less over the speed limit.

"Upon review, we conclude that Springfield's traffic camera ordinance is clearly an exercise of its police power," Judge Mary E. Donovan wrote for the court. "In light of our previous holding in Dayton, we find no merit to Springfield's argument that Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 is not a general law. Contrary to Springfield's assertions, Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 was not enacted to limit municipal powers, and the statute constitutes a comprehensive, uniform, statewide regulatory scheme which clearly prescribes a rule of conduct upon citizens generally. Like the city of Dayton before it, Springfield has failed to meet its burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 in any way offends the Ohio Constitution."

 

What is Snow Law in Ohio?

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English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...

Let it snow!

With the return of winter weather, we have received some questions about what constitutes an emergency and under what authority an emergency can be deemed to exist.  We have also counseled clients who wanted to know what law would circumscribe their behavior during a significant weather event.  Here is what we learned:

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare an emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Ohio law provides for three levels of emergency classifications.

Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow (the definition may become a matter of dispute if you ever have to challenge this law). Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.13 sets forth the crime of "Misconduct at an Emergency."  Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring an emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, "Misconduct at an emergency" or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.  Below is the full text of the statute.

ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.

(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

  • 1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
  • 2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
  • 3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.

(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative's duties.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) As used in this section:

  • 1. "Emergency medical services person" is the singular of "emergency medical services personnel" as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
  • 2. "Emergency facility person" is the singular of "emergency facility personnel" as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
  • 3. "Emergency facility" has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2004

To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI (and clean up snow)”

cleveland plain dealer file photo speed camera

Speed Camera Scams Still A Thing In Ohio

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If you think that Senate Bill 342 banned all speed cameras, you must not have driven through Newburgh Heights. Tucked over off I-77, Newburgh Heights has continued issuing tickets with hand-held devices that don't require officers to pull anyone over to issue a citation. To supplement their budget, they are churning out tickets at the tune of 300 per week. Plenty of folks aren't happy about it but Newburgh Heights doesn't care.  Another Ohio city, Linndale, has built essentially a house with all the comforts of home — so that it can reap the benefits of traffic cameras while some Linndale officer is paid to sit there. You can read more about the implementation of the bill at Cleveland.com.

Despite the obscene money grab, Ohio cities are desperate to use Ohioans as a source of revenue via the implementation of corrupt (and corrupting) policing for profit tactics.  This scheme was laid bare with the revelations following the events in Ferguson, Missouri and spurred several calls for reform. The federal government, along with many states (including Ohio) have begun asset forfeiture reform and a bill to reform the criminal justice system is being debated in the US Senate. But here, in sleepy Ohio towns, the desire for money is too strong to care about the respect for the law and the ramifications of destroying the citizens faith in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

 

Dayton OVI attorney

Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over In Full Effect!

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The annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MADD and local law enforcement agencies, is in full effect. The OVI (drunk driving) crackdown will last from now until January 1st. Below is the new ad for 2015.

Commercial Drivers Beware – OSP To Target You This Week

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Commercial Drivers Beware!

The Ohio State Highway Patrol joined a week-long effort focused on increasing commercial drivers  tickets. The initiative includes officers with the Michigan State and Indiana State police departments, who will focus on violations by commercial vehicle drivers that are proven to contribute to crashes, including: speed, following too closely, improper passing, distracted driving and improper lane use. The initiative began Monday and runs through Saturday, Dec. 12.

cdl driversThis type of enforcement is grant-funded and designed to cause untold problems with truck drivers who depend on their license to earn a living. What makes it particularly ugly is that commercial drivers are some of the best and safest drivers on the road. This kind of arbitrary enforcement has the unintended consequence of causing people to see traffic enforcement as a rigged game.  When this happens, respect for the rule of law diminishes.

If you have a commercial drivers license and need an attorney this week, please give Dayton DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II and attorney Mark J. Babb (Babb & Rowland, LLC)  a call.