Ohio

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban no
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 181
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary for drivers younger than 18; secondary for texting1
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 70
Urban interstates (mph) 65
Other limited access roads (mph) 70
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 15, 6 months
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 50 hours, 10 of which must be at night
Have a minimum age of 162
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions midnight-6 a.m. (age 16), 1 a.m.-5 a.m. (age 17) secondary enforcement
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
no more than 1 passenger unless supervised
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 18
Passenger restrictions 17
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 4 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 3 years and younger or less than 40 pounds in child restraint; 4 through 7 years who weigh 40 pounds or more and who are shorter than 57 inches in booster seat
Adult safety belt permissible 8 through 14 years3
Maximum fine 1st offense $753
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered 15+ years in rear seat
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 05/06/86
Standard enforcement? no
Who is covered? In what seats? 8 through 14 in all seats; 15+ years in front seat
Maximum fine 1st offense $30 driver/$20 passenger
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? yes
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered 17 and younger4
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law no law
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage people 16 and older; people 15 and younger if the vehicle is driven less than 25 mph or if the person is seated and belted in an OEM seating position; emergencies; inapplicable to pickup trucks with covered cargo areas
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
MINITRUCKS
Initial effective date 01/01/17 (effective 01/01/17)
Where permitted roads with a posted speed limit of less than 35 mph if allowed by local ordinance (effective 01/01/17)
Speed restrictions 35 mph (effective 01/01/17)
Vehicle classification under state law mini-truck (effective 01/01/17)

1In Ohio, the text messaging ban for all drivers and the all device ban for young drivers are currently scheduled to become effective on the 91st day after the act is filed with the Secretary of State, approximately Aug. 30, 2012. There will be a 6 month warning period before citations are issued.

2In Ohio, driver education is required of license applicants younger than 18.

3In Ohio, the law is secondary for children 4 — 14.

4Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers of operators who are covered by the law.