Traffic laws in Ohio can be strict. Motorists should be careful to remain aware of even the smallest details.
As reported in TheNewspaper.com, a recent ruling by the Buckeye state’s Court of Appeals lawfully categorizes a “bobble” as an offense that can result in a traffic stop and citation. In some cases, it may even result in an arrest.
Be wary of the front tire “bobble”
An Ohio Court of Appeals three-judge panel recently defined a bobble as a vehicle’s front edge extending over the stop bar at a red light. This constitutes an illegal stop, and it also provides law enforcement with a justifiable reason to pull over a driver for a traffic stop.
One small word can make a big difference
Ambiguity has a potential to be troublesome in matters of law, so it is not uncommon for judges and lawmakers to attempt to clarify issues as needed. In this case, the issue is the word “at.” The Ohio Court of Appeals determined to interpret “at” as meaning “before” in the case of stopping a vehicle at a red light. This means a driver must stop before the edge of the stop line; no part of his or her vehicle should extend past the edge of the stop bar.
A bobble has led to an arrest
In the case of one driver whose front tires straddled the stop line at a flashing red light, this bobble gave cause to an Ohio trooper to pull over the vehicle. That was when the officer detected the smell of alcohol on the driver. After failing the field sobriety tests, the officer arrested the driver for DUI.
The driver initially managed to have the charges dismissed based on an assertion that the officer conducted an illegal traffic stop. The prosecution, however, disagreed, and the Court of Appeals clarified the meaning of the statute. With a bobble now defined as an illegal stop and a lawful justification for an officer to conduct a traffic stop, police may pull over and cite a driver if the front of his or her vehicle extends past the edge of the stop line at a red light.