Car Less Ohio

Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State

Category Archives: Laws

OBF Bill Introduction Tuesday

Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo will introduce a bill on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 to modify Ohio revised code 4511.27(A) to require that motorists maintain a three-foot minimum clearance when passing bicycles.

Senators Fedor and Mark Wagoner and Ohio Bicycle Federation Chair Chuck Smith will announce the bill’s introduction during an 11:30 AM Tuesday press conference on the West Lawn of the State House in Columbus.

The bill is one of eight Ohio Bicycle Federation proposals to improve Ohio cycling given to Senator Fedor by Smith during a May 15-17 bicycle tour from Toledo to Columbus.

For questions regarding the proposed legislation, check the Ohio Bicycle Federation web site at www.ohiobike.org or email Smith at chuck@ohiobike.org.

Drunk Cyclist arrested in Cincinnati

According to this article from the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, a man was arrested while cycling yesterday in Cincinnati, on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence (plus resisting arrest; never hurts to throw that one in for good measure). I think this is a good thing, especially if he was riding in an unsafe manner, as the article suggests.

Many anti-cycling people complain that traffic laws are not enforced for cyclists. Bike advocates are also generally in favor of strict enforcement, as this elevates the standing of bikes as legitimate vehicles on the roads.

Some states have considered exempting cyclists from DUI enforcement. This may be a good thing, as a drunk bicyclist is probably safer for the general public compared to a drunk car driver. But, from a bike advocate standpoint, this has the negative effect of diminishing cyclists’ role as vehicles having full rights and responsibilities on the streets.

ODOT Director to retire

From Columbus Business First:

Ohio Department of Transportation Director James Beasley on Thursday announced plans to retire next week.

Beasley, who served as Brown County engineer for 27 years before joining Gov. Ted Strickland’s cabinet in 2007, will serve his last day at ODOT Jan. 30. His replacement will be Jolene Molitoris, the department’s assistant director and chairwoman of the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

Strickland in a statement Thursday said Beasley made “lasting impacts” in his short time in office.

“He has led ODOT in a way that ensured integrity and ethics in the agency, instilled fiscal accountability and restraint, and modernized ODOT to think beyond just the highway system,” Strickland said.

During Beasley’s tenure, he broadened the focus of the department to include several modes of transportation, including bicycle and pedestrian. Molitoris said in a statement that she plans to further that work.

“As director, I look forward to working closely with our public and private partners to truly transform transportation and move Ohio into a prosperous new world,” she said.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.55: Operating bicycles and motorcycles on roadway

(A) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(B) Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.

(C) This section does not require a person operating a bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so. Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, 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.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 09-21-2006

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