Ohio Flashing Light Driving Laws

Ohio’s laws and codes clearly outline all flashing light rules.

There are basically two types of flashing light driving laws in the state of Ohio. The first type of flashing light driving law deals with what a driver should do when encountering a flashing light. These laws instruct drivers what to do when encountering emergency vehicles and traffic lights, for example. The other type of flashing light driving law deals with the types of flashing lights permitted for drivers to use on their own vehicles.

Flashing Yellow Traffic Signal

Due to the legal precedent set by the case Ohio v. Hatch, Ohio police may not pull over a driver who is merely exercising caution at a flashing yellow light. The suit filed by Jonathan Hatch allowed the Ohio Court of Appeals to further define existing traffic law and clarify that if a driver makes a rolling stop at a yellow flashing light, he or she is within the confines of the law. Such yellow flashing lights are common late at night at intersections so that vehicles may pass through without waiting.

Yielding to Emergency Vehicles

As in all jurisdictions, under Ohio law all vehicles must yield to passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights. To properly comply with the law, drivers should pull completely over to the right and stop parallel to the road until the emergency vehicle or vehicles have passed.

Flashing Red Traffic Signal

Drivers must stop when encountering a flashing red traffic signal. If there is a line that denotes where to stop, the driver must stop at this line. If there is no line, then the driver should come to a stop at the point nearest the intersection without entering it where he or she can see approaching traffic. As for proceeding through the intersection, the driver should follow the same rules that apply to a stop sign.

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Parking and Flashing Lights

No vehicle is allowed to park within 30 feet of a flashing light, including a traffic light or construction light.

Slow-Moving Vehicles

Owners of slow-moving vehicles, such as farm machinery, can equip their vehicles with a red flashing light that must be visible by at least 1,000 feet. This is to be installed in conjunction with a slow-moving vehicle emblem. Vehicles accompanying slow-moving vehicles can be equipped with a flashing amber light in conjunction with flashing hazard lights.

Flashing Lights on Cars

Except where otherwise noted in Ohio law, drivers are not allowed to install flashing lights on motor vehicles. This does not include turn signals or hazard lights or lights on emergency vehicles.