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HELPFUL INFORMATION

OHIO LAW BANS TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

Effective August 31, 2012

IF YOU’RE UNDER AGE 18:

It is illegal to use any electronic wireless communications device while driving in Ohio.

This means:

  • No texting
  • No e-mailing
  • No talking on your cell phone, Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers, On-Star or any similar device
  • No computers, laptops or tablets
  • No playing video games
  • No using your GPS (unless it’s a voice-operated or hands-free device)
  • — Even when you are sitting at a light or stuck in traffic

It’s a Primary Offense: Law enforcement can stop you for any of the above reasons.

  • First violation: $150 fine, driver license suspended for 60 days
  • Second and/or subsequent violations: $300 fine and license suspended for one year
  • Exceptions: pre-programmed GPS, vehicles in a stationary position and outside a lane of travel; and emergency calls to law enforcement, hospital, fire despartment, etc.

ADULT DRIVERS (18 YEARS OR OLDER):

It is illegal to use a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text while driving in Ohio.

  • Minor misdemeanor, could face a fine of up to $150

ON THE ROAD

BOOSTER SEAT LAW ENACTED

A new child restraint law in Ohio took effect on April 7, 2010. Children who are younger than 8 or shorter than 4 feet and 9 inches will be expected to use a booster seat while riding in a car. Children younger than 4 or who weigh less than 40 pounds are expected to sit in a child safety seat. Police have been warning drivers about the new booster seat law for the last six months, but officers will begin issuing tickets for offenders.

If someone is ticketed for not following the new booster seat law, the first offense is a minor misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $75 fine. On a second offense, an offender can be fined as much as $250 and serve 30 days in jail. Taxis, public safety vehicles, vehicles without seat belts and regulated day-care vehicles are exempt from the booster seat law.

NEW HEADLIGHT LAW IN EFFECT

The Wickliffe Police Department is reminding all motorists of a law that took full effect on January 1, 2010. Under Ohio Revised Code 4513.03, all vehicles operating upon a street or highway must have headlights on while using windshield wipers.

Regardless of the time of day, or of the weather conditions, if your wipers are on, your headlights, and taillights, must be on as well. The emphasis here is safety. Inclement weather (e.g., rain, snow, or fog) normally prompts the use of windshield wipers. By adding lighted lights to the equation, the goal is to make your vehicle more visible to other motorists.

What about vehicles equipped with Daytime Running Lights (DRL)? This might not be enough to comply for two reasons. First, DRL’s typically run at a reduced illumination and may not be able to meet the state law requirement that headlights produce a beam sufficient to be seen from one thousand feet ahead. Second, most DRL’s do not also illuminate the taillights, which are also required to be lighted by the new statute. To make certain that you are within the law, take that extra second to turn on your headlight switch after you engage your wipers.

Like safety belt violations, this is a secondary traffic offense, which means vehicles cannot be stopped solely for a violation of this statute. A law enforcement officer must have observed some other moving violation or equipment violation before a driver can be issued a citation for the headlight violation. This offense is a minor misdemeanor, which can carry up to a maximum $150.00 fine.

GUIDELINES FOR MOTORISTS STOPPED BY POLICE

If you are one of the millions of motorists who drive the public roadways each day, chances are that you have been pulled over by a police officer, deputy sheriff, or trooper. At a minimum, you have probably encountered a situation where you needed to yield the right-of-way to a public safety vehicle (fire truck, rescue squad, police car, ambulance, etc.).

Luckily, for the majority of motorists, these contacts are infrequent. However, they can be awkward, unnerving, and uncomfortable. Is there a right way to behave in such situations? What should you do when you see those dreaded red and blue lights flashing behind you? Click here for some suggestions from the Wickliffe Police Department on getting through a safe traffic stop or pullover and returning you safely back to your journey.

KEEPING SAFE

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST SCAMS

Scammers use a variety of tactics to make their offers seem legitimate. They often try to convince consumers to send them money or give personal information, such as bank account numbers and Social Security numbers. Be informed about the types of scams that are being used and learn the warning signs that it may be a scam. Click here for a list of common scams and how to protect yourself. If you have any questions regarding potential scams, please call the Wickliffe Police Dept at 440-943-1234.

INTERNET SAFETY GUIDELINES

The technology of computers and the Internet offer many benefits, as well as a darker side. Child predators use the Internet to find victims. Parents must be aware of what their children are doing on the computer to protect them from the dangers online. Click here for information on protecting your child from online threats.

SEXUAL OFFENDERS INFORMATION

Information regarding sexual offenders may be found on the Sheriff’s link on the Lake County, Ohio website: www.lakecountyohio.org. From that page, viewers may be directed to the State of Ohio Attorney General’s website for further details.

DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION

NEW! DRUG COLLECTION & DISPOSAL PROGRAM

Lake County General Health District and the Solid Waste District announce a pilot program for the continuous collection and disposal of pharmaceutical drugs. Beginning December 8, 2010, Lake County residents can dispose of their unwanted and expired perscription & non-prescription drugs at one of five law enforcement departments throughout the county.

Click here for the website link to the Lake County General Health District for more information about the program and for a list of participating police departments and hours of collection. For a list of collection sites for the drug disposal program, Click here.

NEW TRAFFIC TOOL

RADAR SIGN – by Lt. Robert Valko

In your travels through town, you may have noticed a new addition to the tree lawn landscape of some neighborhoods. The City recently purchased a Radar Sign as a new tool to address complaints and concerns regarding speeding vehicles and increased traffic volume. The Radar Sign is similar in operation to the police department’s radar trailer—it displays the posted speed limit and provides an approaching vehicle’s actual speed through a lighted digital readout. However, it offers several advantages and improvements over the radar trailer:

1. It can be mounted temporarily or permanently to any fixed object, such as a utility pole, fire hydrant, or signal pole.

2. It can be programmed, via laptop computer, to capture data such as weekly, daily, or hourly vehicle counts, including speed ranges, low speeds, peak speeds, and average speeds.

3. It provides printed or electronic data to help analyze areas of concern for traffic enforcement and/or traffic engineering improvements.

To date, the Radar Sign has been posted on Ridge Road, Douglas Road, East 300th Street, and Grand Boulevard. These postings were based on resident requests. If you have an area where speeding vehicles or increased traffic has become a problem or concern, please contact the Wickliffe Police Department Community Policing office at (440) 943-1234 x225.

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