CHAPTER 313

Traffic Control Devices

313.01 Obedience to traffic control devices.
313.02 Through streets; stop and yield right-of-way signs.
313.03 Traffic control signal terms and lights.
313.04 Lane-use control signals over individual lanes.
313.05 Pedestrian control signals.
313.06 Flashing traffic signals.
313.07 Unauthorized signs and signals, hiding from view,
            advertising.
313.08 Alteration, injury, removal of traffic control devices.
313.09 Driver's duties upon approaching ambiguous or
            non-working traffic signal.
313.10 Unlawful purchase, possession or sale.
313.99 Penalty.

CROSS REFERENCES

See sectional histories for similar State law
Designation of through streets or stop intersections - see Ohio R.C. 4511.07(F), 4511.65
Uniform system of traffic control devices - see Ohio R.C. 4511.09, 4511.11(D)
Placing and maintaining local traffic control devices - see Ohio R.C. 4511.10, 4511.11
Traffic control devices defined - TRAF. 301.46


313.01 OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.
No pedestrian or driver of a vehicle shall disobey the instructions of any traffic control device placed in accordance with the provisions of this Traffic Code, unless at the time otherwise directed by a police officer.


No provisions of this Traffic Code for which signs are required shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official sign is not in proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular section of this Traffic Code does not state that signs are required, that section shall be effective even though no signs are erected or in place. (ORC 4511.12)


313.02 THROUGH STREETS; STOP AND YIELD RIGHT-OF-WAY SIGNS.

(a) All State routes are hereby designated as through streets or highways, provided that stop signs, yield signs or traffic control signals shall be erected at all intersections with such through streets or highways, except as otherwise provided in this section. Where two or more State routes that are through streets or highways intersect and no traffic control signal is in operation, stop signs or yield signs shall be erected at one or more entrances thereto by the Ohio Department of Transportation, except as otherwise provided in this section.


Whenever the Ohio Director of Transportation determines on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that stop signs are necessary to stop traffic on a through highway for safe and efficient operation, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent such installations. When circumstances warrant, the Director also may omit stop signs on roadways intersecting through highways under his jurisdiction. Before the Director either installs or removes a stop sign under this paragraph, he shall give notice, in writing, of that proposed action to the Municipality at least thirty days before installing or removing the stop sign.

(b) Other streets or highways or portions thereof, are hereby designated through streets or highways, if they are within the Municipality, if they have a continuous length of more than one mile between the limits of such street or highway or portion thereof, and if they have "stop" or "yield" signs or traffic control signals at the entrances of the majority of intersecting streets or highways. For purposes of this section, the limits of such street or highway or portion thereof, shall be a municipal corporation line, the physical terminus of the street or highway or any point on such street or highway at which vehicular traffic thereon is required by regulatory signs to stop or yield to traffic on the intersecting street, provided that in residence districts the Municipality may by ordinance designate such street or highway, or portion thereof, not to be a through highway and thereafter the affected residence district shall be indicated by official traffic control devices. Where two or more streets or highways designated under this subsection (b) intersect and no traffic control signal is in operation, stop signs or yield signs shall be erected at one or more entrances thereto by the Ohio Department of Transportation or by Council or the authorized local authority, except as otherwise provided in this section.

(c) Stop signs need not be erected at intersections so constructed as to permit traffic to safely enter a through street or highway without coming to a stop. Signs shall be erected at such intersections indicating that the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to or merge with all traffic proceeding on the through street or highway.

(d) Council or the authorized local authority may designate additional through streets or highways and shall erect stop signs, yield signs or traffic control signals at all streets and highways intersecting such through streets or highways, or may designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and shall erect like signs at one or more entrances to such intersection. (ORC 4511.65)


313.03 TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL TERMS AND LIGHTS.
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red and yellow shall be used except for special pedestrian signals carrying words or symbols. The lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and to pedestrians as follows:

(a) Green Indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles and pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

(2) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

(3) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in Section 313.05, pedestrians facing any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(b) Steady Yellow Indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.

(2) Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in Section 313.05, are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

(c) Steady Red Indication:

(1) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown except as provided in subsections (c)(2) and (3) hereof.

(2) Unless a sign is in place prohibiting a right turn as provided in subsection (c)(5) hereof, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn after stopping as required by subsection (c)(1) hereof. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

(3) Unless a sign is in place prohibiting a left turn as provided in subsection (c)(5) hereof, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal on a one-way street that intersects another one-way street on which traffic moves to the left may cautiously enter the intersection to make a left turn into the one-way street after stopping as required by subsection (c)(1) hereof, and yielding the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

(4) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in Section 313.05, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

(5) Council may by ordinance, or the authorized local authority may by rule, prohibit a right or a left turn against a steady red signal at any intersection, which shall be effective when signs giving notice thereof are posted at the intersection.

(d) Signals; Locations Other Than Intersections: In the event an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal. (ORC 4511.13)


313.04 LANE-USE CONTROL SIGNALS OVER INDIVIDUAL LANES.
When lane-use control signals are placed over individual lanes of a street or highway, such signals shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles as follows:

(a) A Steady Downward Green Arrow: Vehicular traffic may travel in any lane over which a green arrow signal is shown.

(b) A Steady Yellow "X": Vehicular traffic is warned to vacate in a safe manner any lane over which such signal is shown to avoid occupying that lane when a steady red "X" signal is shown.

(c) A Flashing Yellow "X": Vehicular traffic may use with proper caution any lane over which such signal is shown for only the purpose of making a left turn.

(d) A Steady Red "X": Vehicular traffic shall not enter or travel in any lane over which such signal is shown. (ORC 4511.131)


313.05 PEDESTRIAN CONTROL SIGNALS.
Whenever special pedestrian signals exhibiting the words "walk" or "don't walk," or the symbol of a walking person or an upraised palm are in place, such signals shall indicate the following instructions:

(a) "Walk" or the symbol of a walking person: Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by the operators of all vehicles.

(b) "Don't walk" or the symbol of an upraised palm: No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate the continued use of pedestrian control signals utilizing the word "wait" if those signals were installed prior to March 28, 1985. (ORC 4511.14)


313.06 FLASHING TRAFFIC SIGNALS.
Whenever an illuminated flashing red or yellow traffic signal is used in a traffic signal or with a traffic sign it shall require obedience as follows:

(a) Flashing Red Stop Signal: Operators of vehicles shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.

(b) Flashing Yellow Caution Signal: Operators of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.


This section shall not apply at railroad grade crossings. Conduct of drivers of vehicles approaching railroad grade crossings shall be governed by Ohio R.C. 4511.61 and 4511.62. (ORC 4511.15)


313.07 UNAUTHORIZED SIGNS AND SIGNALS, HIDING FROM VIEW, ADVERTISING.

(a) No person shall place, maintain or display upon or in view of any street any unauthorized sign, signal, marking or device which purports to be, is an imitation of or resembles a traffic control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any traffic control device or any railroad sign or signal, and no person shall place or maintain, nor shall any public authority permit upon any street any traffic sign or signal bearing thereon any commercial advertising. This section does not prohibit either the erection upon private property adjacent to streets of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for traffic control devices, or the erection upon private property of traffic control devices by the owner of real property in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4511.211 and 4511.432.

(b) Every such prohibited sign, signal, marking or device is a public nuisance, and the Police Chief is authorized to remove it or cause it to be removed. (ORC 4511.16)


313.08 ALTERATION, INJURY, REMOVAL OF TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.
No person without lawful authority, shall do any of the following:

(a) Knowingly move, deface, damage, destroy or otherwise improperly tamper with any traffic control device, any railroad sign or signal, or any inscription, shield or insignia on the device, sign or signal, or any part of the device, sign or signal;

(b) Knowingly drive upon or over any freshly applied pavement marking material on the surface of a roadway while the marking material is in an undried condition and is marked by flags, markers, signs or other devices intended to protect it;

(c) Knowingly move, damage, destroy or otherwise improperly tamper with a manhole cover. (ORC 4511.17)


313.09 DRIVER'S DUTIES UPON APPROACHING AMBIGUOUS OR NON-WORKING TRAFFIC SIGNAL.
The driver of a vehicle who approaches an intersection where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals shall do all of the following, if the signal facing him either exhibits no colored lights or colored lighted arrows or exhibits a combination of such lights or arrows that fails to clearly indicate the assignment of right of way:

(a) Stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, stop before entering the intersection;

(b) Yield the right of way to all vehicles in the intersection or approaching on an intersecting road, if the vehicles will constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.

(c) Exercise ordinary care while proceeding through the intersection. (ORC 4511.132)


313.10 UNLAWFUL PURCHASE, POSSESSION OR SALE.

(a) As used in this section, "traffic control device" means any sign, traffic control signal or other device conforming to and placed or erected in accordance with the manual adopted under Ohio R.C. 4511.09 by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning or guiding traffic, including signs denoting the names of streets and highways, but does not mean any pavement marking.

(b) No individual shall buy or otherwise possess or sell, a traffic control device, except when one of the following applies:

(1) In the course of his employment by the State or a local authority for the express or implied purpose of manufacturing, providing, erecting, moving or removing such a traffic control device;

(2) In the course of his employment by any manufacturer of traffic control devices other than a State or local authority;

(3) For the purpose of demonstrating the design and function of a traffic control device to State or local officials;

(4) When the traffic control device has been purchased from the State or a local authority at a sale of property that is no longer needed or is unfit for use;

(5) The traffic control device has been properly purchased from a manufacturer for use on private property and the person possessing the device has a sales receipt for the device or other acknowledgment of sale issued by the manufacturer.

(c) This section does not preclude, and shall not be construed as precluding, prosecution for theft in violation of Ohio R.C. 2913.02 or a municipal ordinance relating to theft, or for receiving stolen property in violation of Ohio R.C. 2913.51 or a municipal ordinance relating to receiving stolen property. (ORC 4511.18)


313.99 PENALTY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Section 303.99 for general Traffic Code penalty and penalties applicable to misdemeanor classifications.)
Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever violates Section 313.08(a) or (c) or 313.10 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. If a violation of Section 313.08(a) or (c) creates a risk of physical harm to any person, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. A violation of Section 313.08(a) or (c) that causes serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased or controlled by a State or local authority is a felony of the fourth degree and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law. (ORC 4511.99)


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