Ohio Supreme Court to hear case on whether driving on highway edge lines is illegal

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case next week to decide if Ohio traffic law requiring drivers to stay in the lanes marked on the roadway means drivers can be cited for driving on the lines or only when traveling all the way across.

The case stems from a case from August 2018, when an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper in Clermont County followed a sedan that was driving oddly. After the car turned onto Old State Route 74, the trooper said he saw the car’s two right wheels touch the white line, and so the trooper pulled the car over.

The driver, Ryan Turner, was charged with two counts of driving while under the influence and a marked-lanes traffic charge.

In the Clermont County Municipal Court, Turner filed and was granted a motion to suppress evidence from the stop, arguing that the trooper wasn’t justified pulling him over for briefly driving on the edge line.

However, that motion was overturned by the Twelfth District Court of Appeals, a move that went against the decisions of six other district courts of appeal. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to review the conflict.

Essentially, the supreme court said in a release on the case, Turner plans to argue that edge lines on the highway should be treated like the boundary lines in tennis and baseball, where any ball that touches the line is still considered in play.

However, the prosecutor’s argument is that edge lines should be more like sidelines in football, the release said, where as soon as the player touches the line, they are out. The prosecutor pointed to the wording of the law, which requires vehicles to remain “entirely within” a single lane, and saying that the lines should instead be considered a buffer zone.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral arguments via videoconference beginning 9 a.m. on Aug. 18.

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