CHAPTER 337

Safety and Equipment

337.01 Driving unsafe vehicles.
337.02 Lighted lights; measurement of distances and heights.
337.03 Headlights on motor vehicles and motorcycles.
337.04 TaSafety and Equipment
337.05 Rear red reflectors.
337.06 Safety lighting on commercial vehicles.
337.07 Obscured lights on vehicles in combination.
337.08 Red light or red flag on extended loads.
337.09 Lights on parked or stopped vehicles.
337.10 Lights on slow-moving vehicles; emblem required.
337.11 Spotlight and auxiliary lights.
337.12 Cowl, fender and back-up lights.
337.13 Display of lighted lights.
337.14 Use of headlight beams.
337.15 Lights of less intensity on slow-moving vehicles.
337.16 Number of lights; limitations on flashing,
            oscillating or rotating lights.
337.17 Focus and aim of headlights.
337.18 Motor vehicle and motorcycle brakes.
337.19 Horn, siren and theft alarm signal.
337.20 Muffler; muffler cutout excessive smoke, gas or noise.
337.21 Rear-view mirror; clear view to front, both sides and rear.
337.22 Windshield and windshield wiper; sign or poster thereon.
337.23 Limited load extension on left side of passenger vehicle.
337.24 Motor vehicle stop lights.
337.25 Air cleaner required.
337.26 Child restraint system usage.
337.27 Drivers and passengers required to wear seat penalty.
337.28 Use of sunscreening, nontransparent and reflectorized materials.
337.29 Bumper heights.
337.99 Penalty.

CROSS REFERENCES

See sectional histories for similar State law
Warning devices for commercial vehicles disabled upon freeways - see Ohio R.C. 4513.28
Slow moving vehicle emblem - see OAC Ch. 4501.13
Motorized bicycle lights and equipment - see Ohio R.C. 4511.521
Vehicle lighting - see OAC 4501-15
Use of stop and turn signals - see TRAF. 331.14
Wheel protectors for commercial vehicles - see TRAF. 339.05
Vehicles transporting explosives - see TRAF. 339.06
Towing requirements - see TRAF. 339.07
Use of studded tires and chains - see TRAF. 339.11
Bicycle equipment - see TRAF. 373.05 et seq.


337.01 DRIVING UNSAFE VEHICLES.

(a) No person shall drive or move, or cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved, on any street any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person or property.

(b) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any vehicle not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The provisions of this chapter with respect to equipment on vehicles do not apply to implements of husbandry, road machinery, road rollers or agricultural tractors except as made applicable to such articles of machinery. (ORC 4513.02)


337.02 LIGHTED LIGHTS; MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES AND HEIGHTS.

(a) Every vehicle upon a street or highway during the time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, and at any other time when there are unfavorable atmospheric conditions or when there is not sufficient natural light to render discernible persons, vehicles and substantial objects on the street or highway at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead, shall display lighted lights and illuminating devices as required by this chapter for different classes of vehicles; except that every motorized bicycle shall display at such times lighted lights meeting the rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4511.521. No motor vehicle, during such times, shall be operated upon a street or highway using only parking lights as illumination.

(b) Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the distance from which certain lights and devices shall render objects visible, or within which such lights or devices shall be visible, such distance shall be measured upon a straight level unlighted street under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different condition is expressly stated.

(c) Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the mounted height of lights or devices, it shall mean from the center of such light or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands.


337.03 HEADLIGHTS ON MOTOR VEHICLES AND MOTORCYCLES.

(a) Every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be equipped with at least two headlights with at least one near each side of the front of the motor vehicle.

(b) Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than two headlights. (ORC 4513.04)


337.04 TAIL LIGHT; ILLUMINATION OF REAR LICENSE PLATE.

(a) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer or vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a train of vehicles shall be equipped with at least one tail light mounted on the rear which, when lighted, shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear, provided that in the case of a train of vehicles only the tail light on the rear-most vehicle need be visible from the distance specified.

(b) Either a tail light or a separate light shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate, when such registration plate is required, and render it legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear. Any tail light, together with any separate light for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the headlights or auxiliary driving lights are lighted, except where separate lighting systems are provided for trailers for the purpose of illuminating such registration plate. (ORC 4513.05)


337.05 REAR RED REFLECTORS.
Every new motor vehicle sold after September 6, 1941, and operated on a street, other than vehicles of the type mentioned in Section 337.06 or a commercial tractor to which a trailer or semitrailer is attached, shall carry at the rear, either as a part of the tail lights or separately, two red reflectors of such size and characteristics and so maintained as to be visible at night from all distances within 300 feet to fifty feet from such vehicle. (ORC 4513.06)


337.06 SAFETY LIGHTING ON COMMERCIAL VEHICLES.

Buses, trucks, commercial tractors, trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers, when operated upon any street, shall be equipped with clearance lights, marker lights, reflectors and stop lights as required by State regulations. Such equipment shall be lighted at all times mentioned in Section 337.02 except that clearance lights and side marker lights need not be lighted on a vehicle operated where there is sufficient light to reveal any person or substantial object on the street at a distance of 500 feet.


Such equipment shall be in addition to all other lights specifically required by Section 337.02 to Section 337.15, inclusive. Vehicles operated under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission are not subject to this section. (ORC 4513.07)


337.07 OBSCURED LIGHTS ON VEHICLES IN COMBINATION.
Whenever motor and other vehicles are operated in combination during the time that lights are required, any light, except tail lights, which by reason of its location on a vehicle of the combination would be obscured by another vehicle of the combination need not be lighted, but this section does not affect the requirement that lighted clearance lights be displayed on the front of the foremost vehicle required to have clearance lights or that all lights required on the rear of the rearmost vehicle of any combination shall be lighted. (ORC 4513.08)


337.08 RED LIGHT OR RED FLAG ON EXTENDED LOADS.
Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends to the rear four feet or more beyond the bed or body of such vehicle, there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of the load, at the times specified in Section 337.02, a red light or lantern plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the side and rear. The red light or lantern required by this section is in addition to the red rear light required upon every vehicle. At any other time there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of such load a red flag or cloth not less than sixteen inches square. (ORC 4513.09)


337.09 LIGHTS ON PARKED OR STOPPED VEHICLES.
Except in case of an emergency, whenever a vehicle is parked or stopped upon a roadway open to traffic or shoulder adjacent thereto, whether attended or unattended during the times mentioned in Section 337.02, such vehicle shall be equipped with one or more lights which shall exhibit a white or amber light on the roadway side visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle, and a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. No lights need be displayed upon any such vehicle when it is stopped or parked where there is sufficient light to reveal any person or substantial object within a distance of 500 feet upon such street. Any lighted headlights upon a parked vehicle shall be depressed or dimmed. (ORC 4513.10)


337.10 LIGHTS ON SLOW-MOVING VEHICLES; EMBLEM REQUIRED.

(a) All vehicles other than bicycles, including animal-drawn vehicles and vehicles referred to in Section 337.01(c), not specifically required to be equipped with lights or other lighting devices by Section 337.02 to 337.09, shall at all times specified in Section 337.02, be equipped with at least one light displaying a white light visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the front of the vehicle, and also shall be equipped with two lights displaying red light visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the rear of the vehicle, or as an alternative, one light displaying a red light visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the rear and two red reflectors visible from all distances of 600 feet to 100 feet to the rear when illuminated by the lawful lower beams of headlights.

Lights and reflectors required or authorized by this section shall meet standards adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety.

(b) All boat trailers, farm machinery and other machinery, including all road construction machinery, upon a street or highway, except when being used in actual construction and maintenance work in an area guarded by a flagperson, or where flares are used, or when operating or traveling within the limits of a construction area designated by the Ohio Director of Transportation, or the Municipal or County Engineer, when such construction area is marked in accordance with requirements of the Director and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, as set forth in Ohio R.C. 4511.09, which is designed for operation at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less shall be operated at a speed not exceeding twenty-five miles per hour, and shall display a triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem (SMV). The emblem shall be mounted so as to be visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the rear. The Ohio Director of Public Safety shall adopt standards and specifications for the design and position of mounting the SMV emblem. The standards and specifications for SMV emblems referred to in this section shall correlate with and, so far as possible, conform with those approved by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
As used in this subsection (b), "machinery" does not include any vehicle designed to be drawn by an animal.

(c) The use of the SMV emblem shall be restricted to animal-drawn vehicles, and to the slow-moving vehicles specified in subsection (b) hereof operating or traveling within the limits of the highway. Its use on slow-moving vehicles being transported upon other types of vehicles or on any other type of vehicle or stationary object on the highway is prohibited.

(d) No person shall sell, lease, rent or operate any boat trailer, farm machinery or other machinery defined as a slow-moving vehicle in subsection (b) hereof, except those units designed to be completely mounted on a primary power unit, which is manufactured or assembled on or after April 1, 1966, unless the vehicle is equipped with a slow-moving vehicle emblem mounting device as specified in subsection (b) hereof.

(e) Any boat trailer, farm machinery or other machinery defined as a slow-moving vehicle in subsection (b) hereof may, in addition to the use of the slow-moving vehicle emblem, be equipped with a red flashing light that shall be visible from a distance of not less than 1,000 feet to the rear at all times specified in Section 337.02. When a double-faced light is used, it shall display amber light to the front and red light to the rear.


In addition to the lights described in this subsection, farm machinery and motor vehicles escorting farm machinery may display a flashing, oscillating or rotating amber light, as permitted by Section 337.16, and also may display simultaneously flashing turn signals or warning lights, as permitted by that section.

(f) Every animal-drawn vehicle upon a street or highway shall at all times be equipped in one of the following ways:

(1) With a slow-moving vehicle emblem complying with subsection (b) hereof;

(2) With alternate reflective material complying with rules adopted under this subsection (f);

(3) With both a slow-moving vehicle emblem and alternate reflective material as specified in this subsection (f).
The Ohio Director of Public Safety, subject to Ohio R.C. Chapter 119, shall adopt rules establishing standards and specifications for the position of mounting of the alternate reflective material authorized by this subsection (f). The rules shall permit, as a minimum, the alternate reflective material to be black, gray or silver in color. The alternate reflective material shall be mounted on the animal-drawn vehicle so as to be visible at all times specified in Section 337.02, from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the rear when illuminated by the lawful lower beams of headlamps.

(g) As used in this section, "boat trailer" means any vehicle designed and used exclusively to transport a boat between a place of storage and a marina, or in and around a marina, when drawn or towed on a street or highway for a distance of no more than ten miles and at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less. (ORC 4513.11)


337.11 SPOTLIGHT AND AUXILIARY LIGHTS.

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one spotlight and every lighted spotlight shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam will be directed to the left of the prolongation of the extreme left side of the vehicle, nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle.

(b) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than three State approved auxiliary driving lights mounted on the front of the vehicle, which when used shall conform to State regulations. (ORC 4513.12)


337.12 COWL, FENDER AND BACK-UP LIGHTS.

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with side cowl or fender lights or lights on each side thereof which shall emit a white or amber light without glare.

(b) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with back-up lights, either separately or in combination with another light. No back-up lights shall be continuously lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion. (ORC 4513.13)


337.13 DISPLAY OF LIGHTED LIGHTS.

(a) At all times mentioned in Section 337.02 at least two State approved lighted lights shall be displayed conforming to State regulations, one near each side of the front of every motor vehicle, except when such vehicle is parked subject to the regulations governing lights on parked vehicles. (ORC 4513.14)

(b) However, on a motorcycle, there shall be displayed at least one and not more than two lighted lights as required herein.


337.14 USE OF HEADLIGHT BEAMS.
Whenever a motor vehicle is being operated on a roadway or shoulder adjacent thereto during the times specified in Section 337.02, the driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, directed high enough and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons, vehicles and substantial objects at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, except that upon approaching an oncoming vehicle, the lights or beams shall be so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver. (ORC 4513.15)


337.15 LIGHTS OF LESS INTENSITY ON SLOW-MOVING VEHICLES.
Any motor vehicle may be operated under the conditions specified in Section 337.02 when it is equipped with two lighted lights upon the front thereof capable of revealing persons and substantial objects seventy-five feet ahead in lieu of lights required in Section 337.13, provided that such vehicle shall not be operated at a speed in excess of twenty miles per hour. (ORC 4513.16)


337.16 NUMBER OF LIGHTS; LIMITATIONS ON FLASHING, OSCILLATING OR ROTATING LIGHTS.

(a) Whenever a motor vehicle equipped with headlights also is equipped with any auxiliary lights or spotlight or any other light on the front thereof projecting a beam of an intensity greater than 300 candle power, not more than a total of five of any such lights on the front of a vehicle shall be lighted at any one time when the vehicle is upon a highway.

(b) Any lighted light or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than headlights, spotlights, signal lights or auxiliary driving lights, that projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 300 candle power, shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle.

(c)   (1) Flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles, except as a means for indicating a right or a left turn, or in the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, or overtaking or passing. This prohibition does not apply to emergency vehicles, road service vehicles servicing or towing a disabled vehicle, traffic line stripers, snow plows, rural mail delivery vehicles, vehicles transporting preschool children as provided in Ohio R.C. 4513.182, Ohio Department of Transportation maintenance vehicles, funeral hearses, funeral escort vehicles and similar equipment operated by the Department or local authorities, which shall be equipped with and display, when used on a street or highway for the special purpose necessitating such lights, a flashing, oscillating or rotating amber light, but shall not display a flashing, oscillating or rotating light of any other color, nor to vehicles or machinery permitted by Section 337.10 to have a flashing red light.

(2) When used on a street or highway, farm machinery and vehicles escorting farm machinery may be equipped with and display a flashing, oscillating, or rotating amber light, and the prohibition contained in subsection (c)(1) hereof does not apply to such machinery or vehicles. Farm machinery also may display the lights described in Section 337.10.

(d) Except a person operating a public safety vehicle, as defined in Section 301.27, or a school bus, no person shall operate, move or park upon or permit to stand within the right of way of any public street or highway any vehicle or equipment that is equipped with and displaying a flashing red or a flashing combination red and white light, or an oscillating or rotating red light, or a combination red and white oscillating or rotating light; and except a public law enforcement officer, or other person sworn to enforce the criminal and traffic laws of the State or Municipality, operating a public safety vehicle when on duty, no person shall operate, move or park upon, or permit to stand within the right of way of any street or highway any vehicle or equipment that is equipped with, or upon which is mounted, and displaying a flashing blue or a flashing combination blue and white light, or an oscillating or rotating blue light, or a combination blue and white oscillating or rotating light.

(e) This section does not prohibit the use of warning lights required by law or the simultaneous flashing of turn signals on disabled vehicles or on vehicles being operated in unfavorable atmospheric conditions in order to enhance their visibility. This section also does not prohibit the simultaneous flashing of turn signals or warning lights either on farm machinery or vehicles escorting farm machinery, when used on a street or highway. (ORC 4513.17)


337.17 FOCUS AND AIM OF HEADLIGHTS.
No person shall use any lights mentioned in Section 337.02 to 337.16, inclusive, upon any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer unless the lights are equipped, mounted and adjusted as to focus and aim in accordance with State regulations. (ORC 4513.19)


337.18 MOTOR VEHICLE AND MOTORCYCLE BRAKES.
The following requirements govern as to brake equipment on vehicles:

(a) Every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, when operated upon a street or highway, shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such motor vehicle, including two separate means of applying the brakes, each of which means shall be effective to apply the brakes to at least two wheels. If these two separate means of applying the brakes are connected in any way, then on such motor vehicles manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1942, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part of the operating mechanism shall not leave the motor vehicle without brakes on at least two wheels.

(b) Every motorcycle, when operated upon a street or highway, shall be equipped with at least one adequate brake, which may be operated by hand or by foot.

(c) Every motorized bicycle shall be equipped with brakes meeting the rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4511.521.

(d) Every trailer or semitrailer, except a pole trailer, of a gross weight of 2,000 pounds or more, manufactured or assembled on or after January 1, 1942, when operated upon the streets or highways of this Municipality, shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab, and such brakes shall be so designed and connected that, in case of a breakaway of the towed vehicle, the brakes shall be automatically applied.

(e) In any combination of motor-drawn trailers or semitrailers equipped with brakes, means shall be provided for applying the rearmost brakes in approximate synchronism with the brakes on the towing vehicle, and developing the required braking effort on the rearmost wheels at the fastest rate; or means shall be provided for applying braking effort first on the rearmost brakes; or both of the above means, capable of being used alternatively, may be employed.

(f) Every vehicle and combination of vehicles, except motorcycles and motorized bicycles, and except trailers and semitrailers of a gross weight of less than 2,000 pounds, and pole trailers, shall be equipped with parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle on any grade on which it is operated, under all conditions of loading, on a surface free from snow, ice or loose material. The parking brakes shall be capable of being applied in conformance with the foregoing requirements by the driver's muscular effort or by spring action or by equivalent means. Their operation may be assisted by the service brakes or other sources of power provided that failure of the service brake actuation system or other power assisting mechanism will not prevent the parking brakes from being applied in conformance with the foregoing requirements. The parking brakes shall be so designed that when once applied they shall remain applied with the required effectiveness despite exhaustion of any source of energy or leakage of any kind.

(g) The same brake drums, brake shoes and lining assemblies, brake shoe anchors, and mechanical brake shoe actuation mechanism normally associated with the wheel brake assemblies may be used for both the service brakes and the parking brakes. If the means of applying the parking brakes and the service brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part shall not leave the vehicle without operative brakes.

(h) Every motor vehicle or combination of motor-drawn vehicles shall be capable at all times and under all conditions of loading of being stopped on a dry, smooth, level road free from loose material, upon application of the service or foot brake, within the following specified distances, or shall be capable of being decelerated at a sustained rate corresponding to these distances:



                                    From a speed of 20 miles per hour
                                                            Deceleration in
                               Stopping distance            feet per second
                                     in feet                   per second
Brakes on all wheels                   30                      14
Brakes not on all four wheels          40                      10.7


(i) All brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall be so adjusted as to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle. (ORC 4513.20)


337.19 HORN, SIREN AND THEFT ALARM SIGNAL.

(a) Every motor vehicle when operated upon a street shall be equipped with a horn which is in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible, under normal conditions, from a distance of not less than 200 feet.

(b) No motor vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a vehicle, any siren, whistle or bell. Any vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm signal device which shall be so arranged that it cannot be used as an ordinary warning signal. Every emergency or public safety vehicle shall be equipped with a siren, whistle or bell capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 500 feet and of a type approved by the Ohio Director of Public Safety. Such equipment shall not be used except when such vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or is in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which case the driver of the emergency or public safety vehicle shall sound such equipment when it is necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach thereof. (ORC 4513.21)

(c) No person shall use the horn of a motor vehicle except to give warning to other drivers or pedestrians.


337.20 MUFFLER; MUFFLER CUTOUT; EXCESSIVE SMOKE, GAS OR NOISE.

(a) Every motor vehicle and motorcycle with an internal combustion engine shall at all times be equipped with a muffler which is in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, by-pass or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway. Every motorcycle muffler shall be equipped with baffle plates.

(b) No person shall own, operate or have in his possession any motor vehicle or motorcycle equipped with a device for producing excessive smoke or gas, or so equipped as to permit oil or any other chemical to flow into or upon the exhaust pipe or muffler of such vehicle, or equipped in any other way to produce or emit smoke or dangerous or annoying gases from any portion of such vehicle, other than the ordinary gases emitted by the exhaust of an internal combustion engine under normal operation. (ORC 4513.22)


337.21 REAR-VIEW MIRROR; CLEAR VIEW TO FRONT, BOTH SIDES AND REAR.
Every motor vehicle and motorcycle shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the operator a view of the street to the rear of such vehicle or motorcycle. Operators of vehicles and motorcycles shall have a clear and unobstructed view to the front and to both sides of their vehicles or motorcycles and shall have a clear view to the rear of their vehicles or motorcycles by mirror. (ORC 4513.23)


337.22 WINDSHIELD AND WINDSHIELD WIPER; SIGN OR POSTER THEREON.

(a) No person shall drive any motor vehicle on a street or highway, other than a motorcycle or motorized bicycle, that is not equipped with a windshield.

(b) No person shall drive any motor vehicle, other than a bus, with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, sidewings, side or rear windows of such vehicle other than a certificate or other paper required to be displayed by law, except that there may be in the lower left-hand or right-hand corner of the windshield a sign, poster or decal not to exceed four inches in height by six inches in width. No sign, poster or decal shall be displayed in the front windshield in such a manner as to conceal the vehicle identification number for the motor vehicle when in accordance with federal law, that number is located inside the vehicle passenger compartment and so placed as to be readable through the vehicle glazing without moving any part of the vehicle.

(c) The windshield on every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield. The device shall be maintained in good working order and so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the operator of the vehicle. (ORC 4513.24)


337.23 LIMITED LOAD EXTENSION ON LEFT SIDE OF PASSENGER VEHICLE.
No passenger-type vehicle shall be operated on a street with any load carried on such vehicle which extends more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders on the vehicle's left side. (ORC 4513.30)


337.24 MOTOR VEHICLE STOP LIGHTS.
All motor vehicles when operated upon a street, highway or alley shall be equipped with at least one stop light mounted on the rear of the vehicle which shall be actuated upon application of the service brake, and which may be incorporated with other rear lights. Such stop lights when actuated shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear-most vehicle to the rear, provided that in the case of a train of vehicles only the stop lights on the rear-most vehicle need be visible from the distance specified.


Such stop lights when actuated shall give a steady warning light to the rear of a vehicle or train of vehicles to indicate the intention of the operator to diminish the speed of or stop a vehicle or train of vehicles.

When stop lights are used as required by this section, they shall be constructed or installed so as to provide adequate and reliable illumination and shall conform to the appropriate rules and regulations established under Ohio R.C. 4513.19.
Historical motor vehicles as defined in Ohio R.C. 4503.181 are not subject to this section. (ORC 4513.071)


337.25 AIR CLEANER REQUIRED.

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle with an internal combustion engine unless the carburetion system of the vehicle is protected with an air filter, a flame arresting device, or any other accepted method of protection that is adequate for this purpose. If the original device or system is replaced, it shall be replaced with one that is equal to or better than the original equipment.

(b) This section does not apply to a person doing automotive repair work on a motor vehicle that necessitates this device being removed while the work is performed.


337.26 CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM USAGE.

(a) When any child who is in either or both of the following categories is being transported in a motor vehicle, other than a taxicab or public safety vehicle, that is registered in this State, and is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with seat belts at the time of manufacture or assembly, the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor safety standards:

(1) A child who is less than four years of age;

(2) A child who weighs less than forty pounds.

(b) When any child who is in either or both of the following categories is being transported in a motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, that is registered in this State and is owned, leased or otherwise under the control of a nursery school, kindergarten, or day-care center, the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards:

(1) A child who is less than four years of age;

(2) A child who weighs less than forty pounds.

(c) The Ohio Director of Public Safety shall adopt such rules as are necessary to carry out this section.

(d) The failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure a child in a child restraint system as required by this section is not negligence imputable to the child, is not admissible as evidence in any civil action involving the rights of the child against any other person allegedly liable for injuries to the child, is not to be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section, and is not admissible as evidence in any criminal action involving the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section.

(e) This section does not apply when an emergency exists that threatens the life of any person operating a motor vehicle to whom this section otherwise would apply or the life of any child who otherwise would be required to be restrained under this section.

(f) If a person who is not a resident of this State is charged with a violation of subsection (a) or (b) hereof and does not prove to the court, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his use or nonuse of a child restraint system was in accordance with the law of the state of which he is a resident, the court shall impose the penalty provided under Section 337.99. (ORC 4511.81)


337.27 DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS REQUIRED TO WEAR SEAT BELTS; PENALTY.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Automobile" means any commercial tractor, passenger car, commercial car or truck that is required to be factory-equipped with an occupant restraining device for the operator or any passenger by regulations adopted by the United States Secretary of Transportation pursuant to the "National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966," 80 Stat. 719, 15 U.S.C.A. 1392.

(2) "Occupant restraining device" means a seat safety belt, shoulder belt, harness or other safety device for restraining a person who is an operator of or passenger in an automobile and that satisfies the minimum Federal vehicle safety standards established by the United States Department of Transportation.

(3) "Passenger" means any person in an automobile, other than its operator, who is occupying a seating position for which an occupant restraining device is provided.

(4) "Commercial tractor," "passenger car," and "commercial car" have the same meanings as provided in Ohio R.C. 4501.01.

(5) "Vehicle" and "motor vehicle", as used in the definitions of the terms set forth in subsection (a)(4) hereof, have the same meanings as provided in Chapter 301.

(6) "Manufacturer" and "supplier" have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 2307.71.

(7) "Tort action" means a civil action for damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property. "Tort action" includes a product liability claim but does not include a civil action for damages for a breach of contract or another agreement between persons.

(b) No person shall do either of the following:

(1) Operate an automobile on any street or highway unless that person is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device, or operate a school bus that has an occupant restraining device installed for use in its operator's seat unless that person is wearing all of the available elements of the device, as properly adjusted;

(2) Operate an automobile on any street or highway unless each passenger in the automobile who is subject to the requirement set forth in subsection (b)(3) hereof is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device;

(3) Occupy, as a passenger, a seating position on the front seat of an automobile being operated on any street or highway unless that person is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device;

(4) Operate a taxicab on any street or highway unless all factory-equipped occupant restraining devices in the taxicab are maintained in usable form.

(c) Subsection (b)(3) hereof does not apply to a person who is required by Section 337.26 to be secured in a child restraint device. Subsection (b)(1) hereof does not apply to a person who is an employee of the United States Postal Service or of a newspaper home delivery service, during any period in which the person is engaged in the operation of an automobile to deliver mail or newspapers to addressees. Subsections (b)(1) and (3) hereof do not apply to a person who has an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice in this State under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4731 or a chiropractor licensed to practice in this State under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4734 that states that the person has a physical impairment that makes use of an occupant restraining device impossible or impractical.

(d) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause an operator of an automobile being operated on any street or highway to stop the automobile for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of subsection (b) hereof has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation or summons for a violation of that nature or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that nature, and no law enforcement officer shall view the interior or visually inspect any automobile being operated on any street or highway for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of that nature has been or is being committed.

(e) All fines collected for violations of subsection (b) hereof shall be forwarded to the Treasurer of State for deposit as provided in Ohio R.C. 4513.263.

(f) The failure of a person to wear all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device in violation of subsection (b)(1) or (3) hereof or the failure of a person to ensure that each minor who is a passenger of an automobile being operated by that person is wearing all of the available elements of a properly adjusted occupant restraining device, in violation of subsection (b)(2) hereof, shall be considered by the trier of fact in a tort action as contributory negligence, or other tortious conduct or considered for any other relevant purpose if the failure contributed to the harm alleged in the tort action and may diminish pursuant to Ohio R.C. 2315.19 or 2315.20. A recovery of compensatory damages in a tort action shall not be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the person other than a prosecution for a violation of this section and shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal action involving the person other than a prosecution for a violation of this section. (ORC 4513.263)


337.28 USE OF SUNSCREENING, NONTRANSPARENT AND REFLECTORIZED MATERIALS.

(a) No person shall operate, on any street or other public or private property open to the public for vehicular travel or parking, nor lease or rent any motor vehicle that is required to be registered in this State with any sunscreening material, or other product or material, which has the effect of making the windshield or windows nontransparent or would alter the windows' color, increase its reflectivity, or reduce its light transmittance, except as herein specified:

(1) Any manufacturer's tinting or glazing of motor vehicle windows or windshields that is otherwise in compliance with or permitted by "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 205". In Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 205 "manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment, including any person importing motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for resale.

(2) Any motor vehicle with a strip of sunscreening applied along the top of the windshield so long as such material when used in conjunction with the windshield is transparent and is in compliance with "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 205", or other applicable Federal Standards, and does not extend downward beyond the AS-1 line or five inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is closer to the top.

(3) Any motor vehicle with sunscreening material applied to the side windows near the driver and passenger in the front of such vehicle and/or the rear windows so long as such material when used in conjunction with the safety glazing materials of such windows has a light transmittance of not less than fifty percent (50%) plus or minus three percent (3%) and is not red or yellow in color.

(b) No person shall install in any motor vehicle any glass or other material that fails to conform to the specifications of this section.

(c) No used motor vehicle dealer or new motor vehicle dealer, as defined in Ohio R.C. 4517.01, shall sell any motor vehicle that fails to conform to the specifications of this section.

(d) No reflectorized materials shall be permitted upon or in any front windshield, side windows, sidewings or rear window.

(e) No person shall operate on any street or other public or private property open to the public for vehicular travel or parking, nor lease or rent any motor vehicle that is required to be registered in this State that is equipped with privacy drapes, louvers, curtains or blinds unless the drapes, louvers, curtains or blinds are open and secure during vehicle operation.

(f) All motor vehicles, beginning with the 1990 model year, shall be equipped with labels identifying sunscreening material. All sunscreening material shall indicate the manufacturer's name and the percentage level of light transmission of the material permanently installed between the material and the surface to which the material is applied or affixed. Such label shall be legible and shall be placed in the lower left-hand corner of the vehicle window when viewed from the outside. (OAC 4501-41-03)

(g) Exemptions. The provisions of this section do not apply to:

(1) A motor vehicle registered in this State in the name of a person, or the person's parent, legal guardian or spouse who has an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice in this State under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4731 or an affidavit signed by an optometrist licensed to practice in this State under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4725 that states that the person has a physical condition that makes it necessary to equip such motor vehicle with sunscreening material which would be of a light transmittance and/or luminous reflectance in violation of this section. Such affidavit shall be in the possession of the person so afflicted or the driver at all times while in the motor vehicle;

(2) The windows to the rear of the driver in limousines as defined in Rule 4501-41-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code if the limousines are operated for hire;

(3) The windows to the rear of the driver in those vehicles designed and used to transport corpses which include hearses and other vehicles adapted for such use; and

(4) The manufacturer's tinting or glazing of motor vehicle windows or windshields that is otherwise in compliance with or permitted by "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 205". (OAC 4501-41-05)

(h) Definitions. As used in this section, certain terms are defined as follows:

(1) "Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as specified in Section 301.20.

(2) "Sunscreening material" means products or materials, including film, glazing and perforated sunscreening, which, when applied to the windshield or windows of a motor vehicle, reduce the effects of the sun with respect to light reflectance or transmittance.

(3) "Transmittance" means the ratio of the amount of total light, expressed in percentages, which is allowed to pass through the product or material, including glazing, to the amount of total light falling on the product or material and the glazing.

(4) "Windshield" means the front exterior viewing device of a motor vehicle.

(5) "Window" means any device designed for exterior viewing from a motor vehicle, except the windshield or any roof-mounted viewing device.

(6) "Manufacturer" unless otherwise specified in this section, means any person who engages in the manufacturing or assembling of sunscreening products or materials or any person who fabricates, laminates or tempers a safety glazing material, incorporating, during the manufacturing process, the capacity to reflect or reduce the transmission of light.

(7) "Limousine" means any vehicle of the type generally described as a limousine, designed to transport seven or more people. (OAC 4501-41-02)


337.29 BUMPER HEIGHTS.

(a) Definitions.

(1) "Passenger car" means any motor vehicle with motive power, designed for carrying ten persons or less, except a multipurpose passenger vehicle or motorcycle.

(2) "Multipurpose passenger vehicle" means a motor vehicle with motive power, except a motorcycle, designed to carry ten persons or less, that is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.

(3) "Truck" means every motor vehicle, except trailers and semitrailers, designed and used to carry property and having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less.

(4) "Manufacturer" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 4501.01.

(5) "Gross vehicle weight rating" means the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating established for the vehicle.

(6) "Body floor height" means the vertical distance between top of the frame rail and the bottom of the passenger compartment (cab) floor. In the event that the vehicle is a truck body floor height will be measured by the vertical distance between the passenger compartment (cab) floor and the floor of the truck bed.

(7) "Bumper height" means the vertical distance between the ground and the highest point of the bottom of the bumper, measured when the vehicle is laden on a level surface with the vehicle tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.

(8) "Frame" means the main longitudinal structural members of the chassis of the vehicle or, for vehicles with unitized body construction, the lowest main longitudinal structural members of the body of the vehicle. (OAC 4501-43-02)

(b) Prohibitions; Application.

(1) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck registered in this State that does not conform to the requirements of this section.

(2) No person shall modify any motor vehicle registered in this State in such a manner as to cause the vehicle body or chassis to come in contact with the ground, expose the fuel tank to damage from collision, or cause the wheels to come in contact with the body under normal operation, and no person shall disconnect any part of the original suspension system of the vehicle to defeat the safe operation of that system including the installation of inverted, altered or modified suspension system component parts which results in elevation of the height of the vehicle bumper or frame unit which is not in compliance with this section.

(3) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck registered in this State without a bumper on the front and rear of the vehicle if such vehicle was equipped with bumpers as standard equipment by the manufacturer.

(4) No person shall operate upon a street or highway any passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck registered in this State if the difference in height between the body floor and the top of the frame exceeds four inches.

(5) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit either of the following:

A. The installation upon a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck registered in this State of heavy duty equipment, including shock absorbers and overload springs as long as such equipment does not cause the vehicle to be in violation of this section;

B. The operation on a street or highway of a passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck registered in this State with normal wear to the suspension system if the normal wear does not adversely affect the control of the vehicle.

(6) This section does not apply to any specially designed or modified passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck when operated off a street or highway in races and similar events.

(7) A specially designed or modified passenger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle or truck which does not conform to this section shall not be operated on a street or highway. (OAC 4501-43-03)

(c) Specifications.

(1) The horizontal bumper shall be at least 4.5 inches in vertical height, centered on the vehicle's centerline, and extend no less than the width of the respective wheel track distances. Bumpers shall be horizontal load bearing bumpers and attached to the vehicle frame to effectively transfer impact when engaged.

(2) Maximum bumper heights shall be determined by weight category of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) measured in terms of the vertical distance between the ground and the bottom of the frame rail or bumper. Maximum bumper heights are as follows:


                                      Front (inches)   Rear (inches)
Passenger Vehicles                         22              22
4,500 lbs. and under GVWR2426 
4,501 lbs. to 7,500 lbs. GVWR2729
7,501 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. GVWR2831


(3) If the body and/or truck bed height is altered the difference in height between the body floor and/or the truck bed floor to the top of the frame rail shall not exceed four inches.

(4) For any vehicle with bumpers or attaching components which have been modified or altered from the original manufacturer's design in order to conform with the maximum bumper requirements of this section, the bumper height shall be measured from a level surface to the bottom of the vehicle frame rail at the most forward and rearward points of the frame rail.

(5) The height restriction in this subsection (c) applies to the distance from the ground to the bottom of the frame rail under any one or more of the following conditions:

A. A motor vehicle is not equipped with a front and rear bumper.

B. The bumper height relative to the frame rails has been altered.

C. A supplemental bumper has been installed or an addition to the original or replacement has been made. (OAC 4501-43-04)


337.99 PENALTY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Section 303.99 for penalties applicable to any misdemeanor classification.)

(a) General Chapter Penalty. Whoever violates any provision of this chapter, for which violation no penalty is otherwise provided, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, such person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense such person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. (ORC 4513.99)

(b) Child Restraint Systems.

(1) Whoever is a resident of this State and violates Section 337.26 shall be punished as follows:

A. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b)(1)B. hereof, the offender is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

B. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of Section 337.26, Ohio R.C. 4511.81 or of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to Section 337.26, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(2) Whoever is not a resident of this State, violates Section 337.26, and fails to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the offender?s use or nonuse of a child restraint system was in accordance with the law of the state of which the offender is a resident is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second or subsequent offense, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. (ORC 4511.99)

(c) Seat Belt Requirements.

(1) Whoever violates Section 337.27(b)(1) shall be fined twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(2) Whoever violates Section 337.27(b)(3) shall be fined fifteen dollars ($15.00). (ORC 4513.99)


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