Improper Passing

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.27, a driver overtaking another vehicle must signal to the vehicle to be overtaken, must pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and must not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle must give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle at the latter’s audible signal, and the driver must not increase vehicle speed until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction on a divided highway, a limited-access highway, or a highway with four or more traffic lanes, is not required to signal audibly to the vehicle being overtaken and passed.

Overtaking And Passing Upon The Right Of Another Vehicle

Under Section 4511.28, the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

  • When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn
  • Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle

The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. The movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

Driving To Left Of Center Of Roadway In Overtaking And Passing

Under Section 4511.29, no vehicle may be driven to the left of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing traffic proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made, without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic approaching from the opposite direction or any traffic overtaken. The overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for traffic approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.

Penalty For Improper Passing

Improper passing 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 improper passing 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 improper passing 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 Improper Passing

A conviction on a traffic ticket for improper passing 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.

Discuss Your Ticket With A Columbus Traffic Attorney

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.

If you are seeking a traffic lawyer, contact us at 614.695.5000 or online. We offer legal representation to drivers charged with traffic tickets in the Columbus metropolitan area.

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