A driver is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle at a speed less than is reasonable in regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions. Ohio law also states that no person shall stop or operate a vehicle at such an unreasonably slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when stopping or reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with the law.
Section Code 4511.22(B) provides criteria for the director of transportation or local authorities to declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall operate a motor vehicle, except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law. No minimum speed limit established under this code section may be less than 30 miles per hour or greater than 50 miles per hour. The minimum speed limit must be posted.
When a violation of this section is alleged, the trier of fact (usually the court) is required to consider the capabilities of the vehicle and its operator in determining whether the vehicle was being operated at an unreasonably slow speed.
Penalty For Driving Too Slowly
Driving at an unreasonably slow speed ordinarily is a minor misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a minor misdemeanor traffic offense includes the imposition of a fine of up to $150, up to 30 hours of community service and court costs.
But if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, then driving at an unreasonably slow speed is elevated to a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The potential penalty for a fourth-degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the imposition of a jail term of not more than 30 days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $250 and court costs.
And if, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, then driving at an unreasonably slow speed is elevated to a third-degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a third-degree misdemeanor traffic infraction includes the potential imposition of a jail term of not more than 60 days, an additional or alternative community control sanction plus reimbursement for the cost of this sanction, a fine of up to $500 and court costs.
Community control sanctions generally can include residential placement, house arrest, drug/alcohol testing and treatment, specified education and training, community service, curfew, probation, etc. Under certain circumstances, the court also may order an offender to pay restitution to any identifiable victim who incurred an economic loss as a result of the violation.
Points Assessed For Driving Too Slowly
A conviction on a traffic ticket for driving at an unreasonably slow speed carries two points in Ohio on an offender’s driving record. For more information on how the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) processes points for moving violations and the substantial penalty for excessive points accumulation, press Ohio BMV Points System.
Consult A Columbus Traffic Lawyer About Your Ticket
Frequently a lawyer can appear in court and resolve a traffic case in the client’s absence, provided both the court and the prosecutor agree. This saves the client the aggravation of taking time off from work, fighting traffic to get to court on time, waiting for potentially hours for the case to be called, standing in long lines and potentially having to do it all over again if the case is continued.