When does speed limit start in Ohio? Lawmaker says law isn’t clear


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When does speed limit start in Ohio? Lawmaker says law isn’t clear

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Ohio House Bill 219 seeks to clear up confusion about when speed limits begin and end. The bill’s sponsor also wants signs that warn motorists before speed limits decrease. Handout

You may have thought that the posted speed limit begins when you pass the speed limit sign, but an Ohio legislator says it is not that clear in Ohio law.

In House Bill 219, State Rep. John Boccieri, D-Poland, proposes that the law be changed to specifically say the speed limit takes effect at the location of the speed limit sign and continues until the next sign.

He also wants additional signs put up to warn drivers when the speed limit is going to be reduced ahead.

Boccieri said existing law is not specific enough about when a posted speed limit takes effect, which he believes could lead to legal battles between law enforcement and people who are ticketed, according to a news release issued by his office.

“I’m learning there is a lot of confusion after asking motorist and police officers, which sometimes give different answers,” Boccieri said in the news release. “It’s just common sense - the speed limit should begin at the sign.”

The original version of the bill would have specified that the speed limit began at the point a driver saw the sign, but that was a mistake in wording which was contrary to Boccieri’s intent, said Julia Wynn, his legislative aide.

Boccieri proposed House Bill 219 after talking to a constituent about a speed camera installed outside Youngstown last year.

Earlier this year Dayton officials said the city would reinstate red light and speed cameras in five locations after the Ohio Supreme Court struck down restrictions imposed by the state legislature.

Boccieri’s bill keeps in place provisions allowing a law enforcement officer to stop a driver for speeding if the person is driving faster than is “reasonable or proper having due regard to the traffic, surface and width of the street or highway and any other conditions regardless of the posted speed limit,” according to a legislative analysis of the bill.

The bill is assigned to the House Transportation Committee.

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